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I 



SCHOOL OF EDUCATION 
LIBRARY 



TEXTBOOK COLLECTION 

GIFT OF 

THE PUBLISHERS 



STANFORD \^^ UNIVERSITY 
LIBRARIES 



\ I 



] 



I 



TO 

Norman Clatke fLsincfi 

and 

ifrancejs fLgnd) 

THESE LITTLE STORIES 
ARE AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 



LITTLE 
STORIES OF ENGLAND 



BY 

MAUDE BARROWS DUTTON t^Aol^ 

AUTHOR OF "LITTLE STORIES OF FRANCE," "LITTLE STORIES 
OF GERMANY," "HUNTING AND FISHING," "IN FIELD 

AND pasture" 



WITH A PREFACE BY 

FRANK M. MCMURRY 

professor of elementary education, teachers 
college, columbia university 



NEW YORK •:• CINCINNATI :• CHICAGO 

AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY 



i 



613278 
C 



Copyright, 191Z, by 
MAUDE BARROWS DUTT02J LYNCH. 

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London. 



LITTLE stories OF ENGLAND. 
W. P. I 



PREFACE 

The common school curriculum has been broad- 
ened during the last, generatipn, until the number 
of subjects in the weekly program doubles and 
sometimes triples that of former days. And while 
there is serious danger of dissipation now, no one 
questions the general wisdom of this change. In- 
deed, any pupil who confines himself even now 
to the prescribed course of study is leading alto- 
gether too narrow a life. The textbooks, no matter 
how numerous and varied, are only a text after all, 
and a good portion of a young person's ideas should 
come from other sources than the immediate school 
instruction. 

Again, one weakness of the school touches re- 
views. After having once presented valuable topics, 
it lacks variety of ways of reviewing and thereby 
fixing them as permanent possessions. 

This book aims to meet both of these needs; 
and in my estimation, it meets them admirably. 
It introduces children to many topics of common 
interest that are not found in any ordinary course 

5 



of study. And it reviews many others in a delight- 
ful manner. 

There are two reasons why such books as this 
may well occasionally receive a period of the regu- 
lar school time. In that way only will the impor- 
tance of general reading be properly impressed upon 
many pupils. Only in that way, too, will the 
teacher have opportunity to give needed ideas about 
the proper method of general reading. Textbooks 
in school are usually covered so slowly that children 
rebel if they have preserved enough individuality 
to harbor ideas of their own. And, as a conse- 
quence, any books that they are free to read in 
their own way they cover altogether too rapidly. 
They need to learn a middle way. By reading such 
stories as these with a class, or by talking them 
over one by one with a class after the latter have 
read them, the teacher can give many valuable facts 
about method that will influence all later general 
reading. Since general reading of books, maga- 
zines, and papers, as distinguished from strenuous 
study of a particular text, constitutes the main part 
of reading for most persons after their school is 
past, the magnitude of this matter is easily apparent. 

F. M. McMURRY. 
Teachers College, 

Columbia University. 



CONTENTS 

PAGB 

The White-cliffed Island 9 

Caradoc 14 

The Coming of the English 20 

King Arthur 24 

How THE Story of Christ was told in England . . 33 

King Alfred, England's Darling 40 

CiEDMON, THE FiRST ENGLISH SiNGER 46 

Canute, the Danish King 49 

William the Conqueror 55 

King Henry and the White Ship 63 

Thomas A Becket . . .70 

Richard I — England's Royal Crusader .... 76 

Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest 85 

John and the Great Charter . . . . . » . 92 
Edward I, the Hammer of the Scots . . . .105 

The Black Prince . . . .111 

Chaucer and the Canterbury Pilgrims . . . .118 

Madcap Harry 124 

Wat Tyler and the Peasant Revolt 131 

The Last of the Barons 135 

William Caxton 140 

Bluff King Hal 145 

Queen Elizabeth 153 

7 



8 

PACK 

The Spanish Armada i6o 

Spenser and the Faerie Queen i66 

Shakespeare 171 

The Cousins from Scotland •179 

Oliver Cromwell 186 

The Pilot of the State 192 

Sir Joshua Reynolds 199 

Horatio Nelson . . . 205 

Wellington, the Iron Duke .212 

George III . 218 

Charles Dickens . . 224 

Queen Victoria . . . 231 

Edwin Landseer ' . 238 

Edward VII . • . . . . . . . 249 



LITTLE STORIES OF ENGLAND 

THE WHITE-CLIFFED ISLAND 

The first story of England was written fifty years 
before Christ was born. It was written long before 
England bore the name of England ; long before the 
first words of the English language had been formed ; 
long before people had learned how to make pens 
and paper. Julius Caesar, the great Roman general, 
wrote the story. He wrote it in his own language, 
Latin, cutting the words into a wax-covered tablet 
with a hard-pointed stylus. It was a part of his 
diary, that he kept faithfully, to tell the Romans of 
the strange lands that he had visited and the strange 
peoples whom he had conquered in battle. 

For Julius Caesar was a wonderful soldier. He 
grew up in Rome in the days when the dream in the 
heart of every boy was to be strong enough and brave 
enough to march some day at the head of a Roman 
legion. To the north and to the south of Rome, 
over the mountains and down to the sea, ran the hard 
white roads that stretched out from the city like the 
spokes of a great wheel. Many a time the boy 



lO 

Julius watched the legions, the swift chariots, the 
standard bearers carrying the Roman Eagles, the 
long lines of soldiers, the flying banners, going forth 
to add new glory to the name of Rome. Many a 
time the man Caesar inarched forth at the head of 
a legion and brought his armies back laden with 
spoils. It was under his leadership that the western 
part of Europe, which was then called Gaul, was 
turned into a Roman province and forced to pay a 
yearly tribute to this greedy Italian city. 

Some of the people of Gaul first told Caesar about 
the island of Britain not far from the mainland. 
They knew little about it except that now and again 
when the weather was fair their merchants ventured 
across the water to exchange their goods for corn 
or cattle. As Caesar marched along the coast of 
Gaul, he saw for himself the white cliffs of the island 
shining through the sea fog. His eyes were as sharp 
and piercing as an eagle's, but they could not see 
what lay beyond those white cliffs. He felt that his 
work for Rome would not be done until he had set 
up her standard on this island. 

At the end of August, in the year 55 b.c, Caesar 
set sail at midnight. Two legions of soldiers sailed 
with him. They were sturdy, strong-hearted men. 
Each man wore a heavy helmet, breastplate, and 
shield, and carried a sword, javelin, and dagger. 



Morning found the Romans near the coast of 
Britain. The chalk cliffs looked different now. 
They were alive with warriors. Crowds of tall men 
clad in skins and with long streaming hair lined the 
coast. Chariots dashed back and forth, driven at a 
mad speed. With the roaring of the waves mingled 
the war chants of 
the white-robed 
Druid priests. 
Wild horsemen 
plunged into the 
sea and hurled 
their lances at the 
Roman galleys. 

As the ships BrUUh Chariot. 

attempted to land, a shower of flint-tipped arrows fell 
upon them. More than this, the wind and the tide 
were against the Romans. The only way to reach 
the shore was to wade through the shallow water. 

For a moment the Romans hesitated. Then the 
standard bearer of the Tenth Legion, holding the 
bronze eagle high above his head, sprang into the 
waves shouting, " Follow me, fellow soldiers, if you 
would not betray the Roman Eagle into the hands 
of the enemy ! " 

With a shout the men obeyed him. A wild, dis- 
orderly battle ensued. The Britons were fearless, 



but they could not hold out against the trained army 
of Oesar. Still Caesar saw that his forces were not 
strong enough to conquer the island. Content with 
winning the first battle, he soon afterward returned 
to Gaul. 



The Landing of Cxsar. 

The next summer he came again to Britain. This 
time his eight hundred ships and galleys, filled with 
five legions of soldiers, sailed with him. To the 
Britons the whole sea seemed filled with ships. 
They fled, leaving Czesarto land unharmed. C^sar 
followed them inland, fought more battles, won 
more victories, and, after forcing Britain to agree to 
pay tribute to Rome, withdrew. 



13 

This Roman conquest meant little to Britain. 
Still, it is from Caesar's diary that we first hear about 
the white-cliff ed island. It was a land, Caesar tells 
us, of vast forests, flat, barren moors, and great 
marshes. The people were terrible to' look upon. 
Their eyes were blue, and their yellow hair hung 
about their shoulders uncut. They wore no gar- 
ments but skins of animals, and they spent their 
days either hunting or fighting, planting grain or 
minding their flocks. Their homes were mud huts 
hidden in the forests. The most savage tribes of all, 
the Picts and the Scots, lived like robbers in the far 
north. 

The Britons believed that the woods and fens 
were full of goblins and fairies. Every river was. 
protected by good fairies and haunted by evil ones. 
The priests of the Britons were called Druids. They 
dressed in flowing white garments, and their chief 
wore a golden box hung about his neck, which held 
a magic serpent's egg. The Druids went into battle 
with the soldiers, and cheered on the fighting by 
their chants. They were also the judges of all dis- 
putes. They had no books of laws, but the old 
priests taught the young ones all the customs of 
the people, and the little that they knew themselves 
about herbs, about the planting of grain, and about 
the stars. These Druids taught the people that 



there was one very great and powerful God who had 
made them all and they worshiped this God in the 
forest under some huge oak, or in stone temples open 



Stonehenge, 

to the sky. But their worship was as cruel as their 
fighting, for they were still a wild, savage people. 

This was a. strange story to the people in Rome. 
To them it seemed as if this island was at the farther 
end of the earth. The more they read of Cassar's 
story, the more they longed to make Britain subject 
to Rome. 



For over a hundred years after Caesar's second 
visit to Britain, Rome left the island alone. Then 
an emperor came to the throne who read again the 



15 

stories in Caesar's diary, and was filled with the de- 
sire to make Britain truly a Roman province. 
Again the Britons rallied strongly to protect their 
land from the foreign foe, but they were no match 
for the trained and disciplined armies of Roman 
soldiers. Yet one brave man stood defiant for over 
nine years. Caradoc, a young Briton chief, still be- 
lieved that the fearless courage of his people would 
in the end be triumphant. Back, back, back, ever 
farther and farther and farther inland, he was driven 
by the Romans. Yet he seemed to gain new hope 
from each defeat. At last he was obliged to flee 
into the hills. After him, with firm, steady, onward 
march, came the Roman legions. Caradoc took his 
stand on a high hill which was cut off from the 
Romans by a river at its foot. He threw up a de- 
fense of huge stones. He gathered the Britons from 
far and near. He knew that this was to be the final 
struggle. As he saw the army approaching he 
rushed through the ranks, cheering his men and 
crying, "To-day shall decide whether Britain shall 
be free or subject to Rome." 

The Britons caught his spirit. A ' shower of 
stones and darts fell like biting hail on the ap- 
proaching Romans. But the Romans were armed 
with breastplates and helmets of the finest metal, 
whereas the Britons' wore no armor. It was a ter- 



i6 

rible battle. Caradoc escaped, but soon afterwards 
he was captured, and he and his whole family were 
sent to Rome. 

All Rome Ihronged the streets to see the tri- 
umphant procession of the Roman general who had 
finally conquered the far-away island. They gazed 
with pride at the golden treasure that was borne 
before him, and at the long line of captives who 
marched behind in chains. Whenever Caradoc 
passed, cheers went up, cheers for the Roman gen- 
eral who after nine years had conquered this brave 
patriot. Caradoc did not march like a captive. He 
held his head as high as if he were wearing a crown 
instead of chains. He saw in astonishment the 
beautiful palaces and temples of Rome. A picture 
came into his mind of the mud huts of his own peo- 
ple. " Strange, strange," he said, half aloud, " that 
people who own so many and such rich possessions 
should envy us our poor homes/* 

Slowly the long procession moved through the 
city to the field of Mars, where the emperor Claudius 
and the empress sat in state, waiting to welcome the 
triumphant general. Weeping and begging mercy 
the captives fell on their knees before the emperor. 
Caradoc, alone, remained sl;anding in haughty pride. 
Claudius turned his eyes upon him. There was a 
moment of silence as the emperor spoke : — 



17 

" Briton, knowest thou that thou must die ? All 
who bear arms against Rome, as thou hast done, are 
doomed to death." 

Caradoc's voice was as calm as the emperor's as 
he replied : — 

" I had men and horses, arms and wealth. I 
might have been your friend instead of your captive. 
Had I surrendered to your power, neither my 
fall nor your triumph would have been so great as 
now. Put me to death, and my story will be forgot- 
ten. Spare me, and your mercy will be remembered 
forever. As for me, I have nothing to live for; I 
fear death no more here than on the field of battle." 

The noble bearing of the man appealed to the 
emperor. Caradoc was set free, and, as he said, his 
story has not been forgotten. 

But meanwhile in Britain the Roman conquest 
went on. All the island, except the North, where 
the wild Picts and Scots lived, was gradually con- 
quered. Then, as was her custom, Rome began to 
send her masons, her builders, her merchants, to 
follow after the soldiers. The great marsh lands 
were drained. The mud huts were shattered, and 
houses, temples, theaters, and baths were built in 
their place. The forest trails were beaten down 
into broad, hard roads running from town to town. 
A mighty wall was built in the North reaching from 

LIT. STO. OF ENO. — 2 



sea to sea; bridges spanned the rivers, and guards 
kept them day and night against the Picts and 
Scots. The people were taught to wear cloth gar- 
ments instead of skins. They were shown how to 



till the soil and raise grain. The captives were 
forced to work in the lead and tin mines. • 

For over four hundred years the work of the 
Roman conquest went on, changing the island from 
a savage to a civilized country. Yet it was not all 
gain for Britain. Many of her men and women 
worked as slaves for Rome. Many of her young 
men were sent to fight in the Roman army. Every 



19 

year the island was forced to pay a heavy tax to 
Rome. Little by little the Britons lost their war- 
like spirit. They were no longer warriors, for if an 
enemy attacked them, the Roman legions were there 
to protect them. 

But the end of Rome's greatness was drawing 
near. Wild tribes began attacking the city which 
had once been the most powerful city of the world. 
Her legions were needed at home. One by one 
they were withdrawn from Britain. The Picts and 
Scots were quick to learn that the Romans had 
gone. They came down from the North like a 
swarm of angry hornets. The Britons were power- 
less against these invaders. Terror-stricken, they 
sent a letter to the Roman General, calling it " The 
Groans of the Britons." It was a pitiful letter beg- 
ging for help. 

" The savages drive us into the sea," they wrote ; 
" the sea drives us back on the savages. Our only 
choice is whether we shall die by the sword or 
drown ; for we have none to save us." 

But Rome could only send back the answer, 
" Britain must look to her own defense." 



20 



THE COMING OF THE ENGLISH 

Years passed by, each one more troublesome for 
Britain. The robber tribes in the North grew 
bolder in their plundering. Pirates from the bar- 
barians living along the North Sea began to ravage 
the eastern coast of the island. The spirit of Car- 
adoc yiras dead. Rome had withdrawn all help. 
Where should the Britons turn for aid ? Then 
Vortigern, a Briton king, bethought himself, " I 
shall do well if I can set these robbers one against 
another." So he sent word to the Jutes, a warlike 
people living on the. peninsula that we call Den- 
mark, and said, " Let us make an alliance together." 

So Hengist and Horsa, the leaders of the Jutes, 
gave a great feast to Vortigern, and the pledge was 
drunk that if the Jutes would aid the Britons in 
driving back the Picts and Scots the king Vortigern 
would give to them the island of Thanet. If we 
may believe the legend, another pledge was also 
made at this feast, for Hengist had a daughter 
Rowena, who was very beautiful, and who served 
the king at table. When Vortigern looked into her 
blue eyes, he loved her, and said to Hengist: — 

" Give me the maid to wife, and I will give you 
the kingdom of Kent." 

Be this story as it may, band upon band of Jutes 



2t 

sailed for England. These tribes had never been 
subdued by the Romans. The love of war was 
bom in their blood. They drove the Picts and 
Scots back behind the great wall, and placed guards 
there, as the Romans had done before them. As a 
reward for their great service they were given the 
island of Thariet. Here many of the Jutes settled, 
but others returned home to Denmark. At home 
they told strange tales. They told of rich cities. 
They told of fertile fields. They told of the coward- 
ice of the Britons, who fled at the sight of the Picts 
and Scots. In Britain, it seemed, was wealth to be 
had for the taking. 

Other tribes besides the Jutes began to turn long- 
ing eyes upon the island. The Saxons and the 
Angles, from Germany, were quick to follow the 
lead of the Jutes. At first they went merely to 
plunder and return home. Then, as they saw that 
the stories of the Jutes were true, they came bring- 
ing with them their wives, children, and dattle. 
They came seeking homes in a land that was better 
than their own. 

In dismay the Britons saw that a new enemy was 
upon them. These Saxons and Angles were a 
merciless people. In war they killed all their cap- 
tives or made them slaves. They tore down the 
beautiful palaces and theaters that the Romans had 



built They turned the Christian churches into 
Pagan temples. The few Britons who escaped 
sought refuge in the West among the mountains of 
Wales. Slowly the Angles and Saxons made the 
island their own. In the fertile fields they built 



"These Saxons ano Angles were a merciless people," 

up villages like those they had left behind in Ger- 
many. Each freeman of the tribe had a small piece 
of land which he called his own. Here he built his 
rude hut of branches, woven together and covered 
with mud. There was little furniture in the hut, 
but on the walls of the very poorest hung the free- 



23 

man's arms. He must be ready at a moment's 
notice to rally around his chief. 

On the edge of the village was the plowland, 
where the slaves were set to work, plowing, plant- 
ing, and reaping grain. Round the plowland ran a 
high hedge to keep out the wild beasts of the forests. 
No man ventured far into these forests unarmed. 
But on the border of the woods beneath the beech 
trees the boy swineherd fed his swine. The boy 
was dressed in uncombed sheepskins, with sandals 
on his feet, bound with leather thongs. His mat- 
ted hair was his only cap. Around his neck he 
wore a brass ring, like a dog's collar, telling the 
name of his master, for the swineherd was a slave. 
A ram's horn hung from his belt, to call the swine 
together at night. 

The Romans had come as conquerors. These new 
tribes came as settlers. In the course of time seven 
great separate kingdoms grew up in Britain. The 
Jutes settled in Kent. The Saxons formed three 
kingdoms : Essex, or the land of the East Saxons ; 
Wessex, the land of the West Saxons ; and Sussex, 
the land of the South Saxons. And the Angles 
named their three kingdoms Anglia, Mercia, and 
Northumbria. Their whole territory they called 
Angles' land, and from this name came England, the 
name of the southern part of the island of Britain. 



24 



KING ARTHUR 



In the days when the heart of every Briton was 
terror-stricken by the word Roman, one man had 
arisen from their own midst, — Caradoc. Now, when 
the Saxons were sweeping across the land like fire, 
another Briton hero met the foe fearlessly, and dared 
lead his army against them. The name of this hero 
king was Arthur, and history tells us little about 
him except that in his courage lay the dying hope of 
his people. 

To-day when a great man dies a monument is 
erected to his honor, so that even those who never 
saw him can look into his face and feel that they, 
too, have known him. But in these early days, when 
the Britons were fleeing for their lives to the woods 
and mountains, they could do little to honor a hero. 
Still, they did not forget King Arthur. The story 
of his brave deeds passed from lip to lip. Mothers 
told of it to their children, and these children in their 
turn told it to their own. It came to be the favorite 
tale of the Britons. And the oftener it was told the 
more their love grew for this king. They came to 
believe tliat he had power to do any deed that was 
good and noble. Centuries afterwards these legends 
and tales were gathered together and printed in a 
book. Which were true we of to-day can no longer 



25 

tell ; but what is true is that boys and girls of to-day 
love the tale of King Arthur just as much as did the 
little Britons who listened to it in the far distant 
past This is the story. 

It happened in the days when Uther was king in 
England that a son was born to him. But the king 
did not like the child, and, when he was still a wee 
baby, he commanded two knights and two ladies to 
wrap the child in a cloth of gold, and give it to 
the first poor man who passed the castle gate. So 
it befell that the baby came into the hands of Merlin, 
the Enchanter, who named him Arthur and gave 
him to Sir Ector to bring up as his son. 

About two years after this. King Uther fell sick 
and died, leaving the realm without a ruler. There 
were many lords who came forth eager to be. king, 
but none could decide who should be chosen, and 
for a long, long time only strife and jealousy reigned 
in England. Then Merlin bade the lords of the 
land gather in the greatest church in London on 
Christmas morn and see if God would not send them 
a sign who should be their king. And when the 
mass was over there was found in the churchyard a 
great stone, four feet square, and in the midst of it 
was an anvil of steel in which a sword of gold was 
imbedded. And round about the sword ran this 



26 

inscription in letters of gold : " Whoso pulleth this 
sword out of this stone and anvil, is rightwise born 
king of the Britons." 

Many a knight was eager to try his hand, and each 
was given his turn, but the sword clung fast in the 
anvil as if it were in truth a part of the stone itself. 
Then the archbishop .said, " Truly this is a miracle 
of God, and He will send us our king in due season. 
Till then let us wait in peace." 

So the knights went forth to gather again on New 
Year's Day at a great tournament. And among 
those who rode to the tournament was Sir Ector 
with his son Sir Kay, and the young Arthur his 
foster brother. But when Sir Kay was about to 
enter the jousts, he bethought him that he had left 
his sword at home, and bade young Arthur ride 
quickly and fetch it. On the way the boy remem- 
bered the tale he had heard of the sword in the 
churchyard, and determined that he would try his 
strength. So when he had come to the church he 
tied his horse to the stile and went over to the great 
stone. He clasped the hilt firmly with his right 
hand and drew the sword lightly from its bed of 
steel. A moment later he was back on the field, 
delivering the sword to Sir Kay. 

When Sir Kay had looked at the sword, he knew 
well whence it came. The tale spread fast among 



the knights that Arthur had drawn forth the 
miraculous sword. 

Then all together they rode back to the church-- 

yard, and placed 

the sword in the 
anvil. Again ten 
knights tried one 
by one to draw it 
forth, but it yielded 
to none of them. 
Yet when Arthur's 
hand fell upon it, it 
slipped out with 
no effort There- 
upon Sir Ector 
and Sir Kay knelt 
down before Ar- 
thur, and all the 
other knights I 

knelt down, and "Arthur wa. proclaimed king." 

Arthur was proclaimed king. So once more did his 
friend. Merlin the Enchanter, help him. 

At another time Merlin and the king were to- 
gether, and Arthur was sad because he had broken 
his sword in batde with a knight. Then said 
Merlin, " Let us ride down to yonder lake." 

Together they came to the lake side, and there in 



the midst of the water arose an arm holding aloft a 

beautiful sword. And over the waters was seen 

coming a maiden. 

" Speak fair to yonder maiden, for she is the Lady 
of the Lake," 
quoth Merlin ; 
" and she will 
give you the 
sword." 

" Fair lady," 
spoke Arthur, 
" pray tell ' me 
whose is yonder 
sword ? I wish 
indeed that it 
were mine, for 
mine is broken 
in twain." 

" The sword 

is mine," was 

Excaiibur. the maiden's 

answer ; " but 

gladly will I give it to thee. Do thou take yonder 

barge and row out and fetch it." 

So Arthur and Merlin rowed out into the lake, 

and the king took the sword, while the arm again 

went under the water. Then Merlin told him that 



29 

the name of the sword was Excalibur, and that he 
should do with it many a brave and noble deed. 

The words of Merlin came true, and Arthur's 
fame grew wider and wider. Then his barons came 
to him and said, " So noble a king should take to 
himself a wife. Now is there not some lady of the 
land whom ye love better than another ? " 

"Yea,- said King Arthur, "I love Guenevere of 
the house of Cameliard, whose father holdeth the 
Table Round that ye told me he had of my father, 
Uther. She is the gentlest and the fairest lady in 
the land." 

So Merlin went forth and brought Guenevere to 
be Arthur's wife, and her father sent with her as a 
gift the Round Table and a hundred knights. And 
the noble deeds that were done by King Arthur 
and his knights of the Round Table would fill a 
book of many pages, for the king lived to a good 
old age. 

Nobly did the king live, and nobly did he die. 
Wounded in battle he lay dying in his tent. Then 
he called to him one of his knights. Sir Bedivere, 
and handed him his sword. 

" Take thou Excalibur, my good sword," he said, 
** and carry it to yonder lake, where thou shalt throw 
it into the water, and then return to me and tell me 
what thou shalt see." 



Sir Galahad, a Knighl of the Round Table. 



31 

At these words Sir Bedivere knew that the king's 
end was near. He went out, sad of face, to do his 
command. But on the way he paused to look at 
the sword. " It is, forsooth, a pity to cast such a 
fine sword into the water," he thought to himself, 
and straightway hid it beneath a tree. 

m 

" What saw ye at the lake ? " questioned the king, 
when Sir Bedivere returned. 

" Sir," said the knight, " I saw nothing but the 
waves driven by the wind." 

Then Arthur looked into his eyes, and said, " As 
thou art dear to me, go and do my command." And 
Sir Bedivere went out the second time. But a 
second time, when he held the sword in his hand, 
he said to himself, " It is indeed a shame to throw 
away such a noble sword." Again he hid it, and 
went back to the dying king. 

" What saw ye there at the lake ? " The king 
repeated his question, and the knight made answer: 
" Sir, I saw nothing but the lapping waves." 

" Ah, traitor ! " cried the king, " now hast thou 
betrayed me twice. In the name of the love which 
I have ever borne to thee, depart and do my com- 
mand." 

A third time Sir Bedivere went out and took the 
sword, but this time he carried it to the lake and 
threw it far into the water. He stood above on 



32 

the cliff and watched. He saw the waves part, and 
an arm and head come out of the water and seize 
the sword. Three times the sword was brandished 
in the air, and then it sank forever beneath the 
waves. So Sir Bedivere came again to the king, 
and told him what he had seen. 

" Alas," said Arthur, " now help me hence, for I 
fear that I have tarried too long." 

Then the knight took the king gently in his arms, 
and carried him down to the lake side. And there 
stood a barge with many fair ladies in it, all wear- 
ing hoods of black. And when they saw the king 
they wept and wailed. 

" Now put me in the barge," quoth the king. 
Sir Bedivere lifted him in, and noiselessly the barge 
left the shore. And the king said unto his knight: — 

"... now farewell. I am going a long way 

• ••*.. 

To the island -valley of Avilion ; 
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, 
Nor ever wind blows loudly ; but it lies 
Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns 
And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea. 
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound." 

This is the last story of the Britons. 



33 



HOW THE STORY OF CHRIST WAS TOLD 

IN ENGLAND 

I 

Little by little all Roman influence disappeared 
from the white-cliffed island. Missionaries from 
Ireland brought to the' Britons the news of the 
new religion of Christianity that Rome had sent to 
them. But this religion gave way to the German 
paganism when the Angles and Saxons came.. The 
Latin words were forgotten for the rougher tongue 
of the newcomers. The one remaining link 
between England and Rome was her trade, and the 
selling of English men and women and boys and 
girls in Rome as slaves. 

It so happened that one day Gregory, a priest, 
was passing the slave market in Rome, and saw two 
English boys standing there. Their fair skin and 
hair and blue eyes, so different from the Italians, 
attracted his attention. 

" Who are these golden-haired boys } " he asked 
of the slave dealer. 

" They are Angles," was the answer. 

" Not Angles, but Angels," returned the priest. 
" And whence come they ? " 

" From Deira." 

" Deira ! " repeated Gregory (which in Latin 
means, " from the wrath of God "). " Aye, verily 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — 3 



34 

they are plucked from the wrath of God and 
called to Christ's mercy. And what is their king's 
name ? " 

They told him " ^lla." 



St. Augusline preaching lo Elhelbert. 

" A word of good omen," replied Gregory ; " Alle- 
luias shall be sung in .Ella's land." 

Gregory never forgot the faces of those slave 
boys. He longed to go himself to their land, but 
this was not possible, for he afterwards became Pope, 
and there were many other pressing matters for him 



35 

to attend to. Still, after many years, he sent to 
England a certain monk named Augustine to tell 
the story of Christ there. Augustine set out with a 
little band of followers across Gaul. On his journey 
he heard so many terrifyiftg tales of the Saxons that 
he wrote to Rome begging to be allowed to return. 
But Gregory bade him go on his way. " The more 
difficult the labor, the greater the reward," was his 
reply. In the year 597 Augustine and his fellow 
missionaries landed on the island of Thanet. 

They had chosen Kent for a first landing spot 
because Ethelbert, the king, had married a Prankish 
princess Bertha, who was a Christian. Bertha 
persuaded the king to receive the strangers kindly, 
but Ethelbert v;ould not allow them to come under 
his roof. He feared they might cast a magic spell 
over his house. So the first meeting was held out 
of doors under a great oak. 

The king and his court watched the procession of 
white-robed priests coming up from the sea, bearing 
ahead a silver cross and a banner on which was 
painted a picture of Christ. They listened, too, to 
the chants that the priests sang and the long sermon 
that Augustine preached. Then the king said, 
"Your words are fair, but they are new." He was 
not willing to give up his old religion so quickly. 
Yet he permitted them to come back with him to 



Canterbury and worship in an old Roman church, 
St. Martin's, which was still standing there. After a 



Canterbury Cathedral. . 

year, when he had seen what good men Augustine 
and his followers were, and how they helped the 
poor and taught the ignorant, Ethelbert was himself 
baptized, and not long after his whole court, and 
Kent became a Christian kingdom with Augustine 
bishop of Canterbury. 

The next kingdom to become Christianized was 
Northumbria. Edwin, who was the rightful king of 



37 

Northumberland, had been deposed, and had fled for 
protection to Redwald, the king of East Anglia. 
At first Redwald was kind to him, but finally he 
was persuaded to give him over to his enemies. 
Edwin had learned of the plot and had gone out in 
the early morning to think over what he could do. 
He was seated on a stone near the palace, when a 
stranger came up to him and said : — 

" Think not that I do not know why you are 
wakeful when others sleep. What will you give to 
him who will persuade Redwald not to hand you 
over to your enemies ? " 

" He shall have all the gratitude of my heart," 
Edwin made reply. 

"And what if he overcomes your enemies and 
makes you the most powerful king in England ? " 

" I will give myself to him," answered Edwin. 

" And if he tell you more of the meaning of life 
and death than any of your forefathers have known, 
will you listen to him ? " 

" I will." 

Then the stranger, laying his hand on Edwin's 
head, made the sign of the cross. " When this sign 
shall be repeated," he said, " remember it and this 
hour, and what you have promised." With these 
words the stranger vanished. 

Many years afterwards, when Edwin's kingdom 



38 

had been returned to him, Paulinus, a priest, came 
and asked him if he remembered the sign and his 
promise. Edwin answered yes, and pledged him- 
self to become a Christian. But first he called 
together a council of his nobles to discuss the 
matter. He told them the story, and asked them if 
he should give up the old religion for the new. 
This is the answer that one of his men made : — 

" The present life seems to me like the flight of 
a sparrow. The bird of a wintry night flies into the 
great hall where we sit feasting, and for a few moments 
it is safe and warm by our fire. But an instant later 
it vanishes into the dark of the night and the cold 
of the storm. If the new religion can tell us more 
about this night into which we must all some day 
pass, let us too become Christians." So the king 
and all the nobles adopted the new faith. 

It was in this kingdom, in Lammermoor, that one 
of the greatest English missionaries was born. 
Cuthbert was a lame shepherd boy. A pilgrim in a 
white mantle, coming over the hill and pausing to 
heal the shepherd boy's knee, seemed to him an 
angel. The stars in the sky seemed to him to be 
angelic hosts. He was not happy until he joined a 
brotherhood and became a monk. But he did not 
spend his days in the monastery. He went out over 
the moors and the meadows, telling the people who 



39 

lived in little thatched huts the story of Christ. On 
foot and on horseback he traveled through woods 
and villages, preaching in simple fashion to the 
peasants. 

, " Never did man die of hunger who served God 
faithfully," he would say, when nightfall came upon 



St. Cuthbert and the Eagle. . 

them supperless in the waste land. " Look at the 
eagle overhead ! God can feed us through him, if 
He will." And even as he finished" these words, the 
frightened bird let fall a fish that she was carrying 
home in her beak. 

Another time, when the storm drove him inland, 
as he was trying to make his way down the coast. 



40 

his companions grew disheartened. " The snow 
closes the way along the shore," they cried ;" and 
the storm bars our way over the sea." 

" There is still the way of heaven that lies open 
to us," Cuthbert made answer. 

Thus it was that the story of Christ was told in 
England both to the kings and to the people. 



KING ALFRED, ENGLAND'S DARLING 

King Alfred is the best beloved of all of Eng- 
land's kings. An old English writer tells us that he 
was the favorite son of his father and mother because 
he was the " lovesomest," and one thousand years 
after his death all England held a great celebratioti 
in his memory, because they still loved this king. 
He was the youngest of four brothers, but he soon 
showed that he was more eager to learn than any 
of the others. 

One day the mother was showing the boys a book 
of Saxon lays. There were no printed books at this 
time, and in this book the letters had been painted, 
probably by some monk, and they were done in gor- 
geous reds and greens and gold. To Alfred, lean- 
ing against his mother's knee, this book seemed the 
most beautiful thing that he had ever seen, and 



he longed to have it for his own. Then he listened 
and heard his mother saying : " Whichever of you 
can soonest learn this volume, to him will I give it." 



Alfred and the Mew Book. 

Alfred looked up with wide-open eyes. " Wilt 
thou indeed give one of us this book — and to him 
who can soonest understand and repeat it before 
thee ? " 

And his mother answered, "Yea, I will." Per- 
haps she guessed then which of her sons it would 
be, for while the others soon ran away to their play. 



42 

Alfred took the book very carefully and carried it to 
his master. He could not read himself, but his 
master read the Saxon poems aloud, until his little 
pupil learned them word for word. That was the 
way Alfred earned his first book. 

When Alfred was still a little boy, he was sent on 
a pilgrimage to Rome, where he was confirmed. 
We do not know how many months he stayed there 
iior what he did, but this long journey to the Eter- 
nal City must have made a deep impression upon 
him. All through his life he was a devout church- 
man. As soon as he could read, which was not 
, until he was twelve years old, he learned the church 
service by heart. Next he wrote down in a little 
book certain of the psalms and prayers, which he 
bore with him constantly in his bosom, so that he 
might feel that God was near him always in the 
stress and strain of his life. 

For Alfred was destined to see stormy times in 
England, which called him away from his books out 
into the battlefield. The Danes, those wild sea- 
men from the North, came down upon England in 
their black ships like a vast flock of thieving ravens. 
It was the first year of Alfred's reign, and he was 
only twenty-three years old. But in his youthful 
heart was born the courage to gather his fighting 
men and lead them out against these dreaded in- 



43 

vaders. Nine times he went to battle with the 
Danes during the first year of his reign. When 
Alfred was victorious the Danes made treaties with 
him to which they swore, by the sacred golden 
bracelets on their arms, that they would be true. 
But when they had regained their strength, they 
broke their oaths and spread once more over 
Alfred's land, plundering, slaying, and burning 
wherever they could make their way. 

Oftentimes the king and his band of faithful 
followers were driven far into the waste lands. 
There is a strange tale of an adventure which befell 
Alfred at this time. He had been forced into 
Athelney, where there was no food to be had except 
fish and game. One morning when the men were 
out fishing, the king was left alone and was comfort- 
ing himself in his loneliness by reading from his 
little book of psalms. Suddenly he felt that some 
one was near him. Looking up, he saw a pilgrim 
standing, who looked at him with hungry eyes, and 
said : " In the name of God give me to eat and 
drink." 

The kind-hearted Alfred called his servant, and 
asked him what food there was in the tent. 

" One loaf of bread and a little wine, sir," replied 
the servant. 

" Then quickly bring it hither," was the king's 



44 



answer, "and give the half of each to this starving 



man." 



The beggar thanked him, and a few moments 
later was gone. But the bread and wine were left 
untasted, and at evening the men returned with 
heavy baskets. 

That night the king could not sleep because his 
thoughts were full of the strange pilgrim who had 
come to visit him. Suddenly a great light shone 
about his bed, and in that light he saw an old man 
standing, clad in priestly robes and wearing a miter 
on his head. 

" Who art thou } " questioned the king. 

Whereupon the old man made answer, " I am he 
to whom thou gavest bread and wine to-day. I am 
called Cuthbert, the servant of the Lord, and I am 
come to tell you how to free England from the 
Danes. To-morrow arise with trust in God in your 
heart. Cross over the river and blow loudly three 
times upon your horn. About the ninth hour of 
the day friends shall come to your aid. Then shall 
you fight and be victorious." 

The next morning Alfred hastened to do as St. 
Cuthbert had commanded, and even as he had 
spoken it came to pass. 

Still there were many more hard battles fought 
between Alfred and the Danes, and never did the 



45 

king succeed in driving them out of England. 
But at last they settled north of Alfred's kingdom, 
and now he could find time to do many things for 
his people, that he had long wanted to do. He 
started schools, and, as there were few English books, 
he translated many foreign books himself for his 
people. Alfred was not content to be a mere 
reader. Whenever he found a beautiful verse or 
thought, he wished to share it with some one else. 
One book of which he was particularly fond was the 
writings of the great St. Augustine. This book, 
Alfred wrote, was like a great forest, and he loved 
to wander about in it, cutting down here a beam, 
here a joist, and here a great plank with which to 
build a palace for his soul. " For in every tree," he 
said, " saw I something needful for my soul." And 
more than that, he bade every man who could to 
fare to that serene wood to fetch beams for himself 
so that there might be many a comely house built. 

Alfred loved justice, too, as much as he did learn- 
ing. He collected the laws of the land and made 
his people abide by them. There was a saying that 
during Alfred's reign gold chains could hang across 
the streets and no one would steal them. 

He went to the monks, and encouraged them to 
keep a chronicle of all that took place in the king- 
dom, and so we have to-day the history of those far- 



46 

away days. It is chiefly due to this chronicle that 
we know about the 
life of this great 
king, who said when 
he died : — 

" I have desired to 
live worthily while I 
lived, and after my 
life to leave to the 

men that should be after me my remembrance in 

good works." 

C^DMON, THE FIRST ENGLISH SINGER 

High above the little fishing village of Whitby, 
in the seventh century, stood an old wooden church 
and monastery. It was a beautiful spot to live in. 
Below it, on the one hand, was the blue sea with 
the little fishing vessels sailing upon it; and on the 
other stretched the wild moors and meadows, with 
the River Esk running through them to the sea. 

This monastery was founded for both monks and 
nuns by a beautiful woman whose name was Hilda. 
She was a very good woman, spending her days 
teaching and helping the ignorant and poor. The 
monks and nuns loved her so dearly that they all 
called her " mother." 



47 

In the monastery on long winter evenings, the 
monks and servants often gathered for a feast, and 
afterward told or sang stories and songs. There 
was 'always a harp, which was passed from one to 
another, and each in turn sang some lay. There 
was seated at one of these feasts one evening a 
middle-aged man who cared for the cattle of the 
monastery. He had been listening eagerly to the 
songs, but when he saw that the harp was coming 
soon to him, he was greatly afraid. When no one 
was looking, he slipped out of the room. He hur- 
ried sadly down the cliff, with the music of the sea 
beating below. There were songs in his heart, but 
he could not sing them. 

But that night, as he lay sleeping in the stable, 
suddenly one stood by him, and saluting him, said, 
" Caedmon, sing me something." 

And he answered, " I know not how to sing, and 
for this reason left I the feast." 

Then the other said, " Nevertheless, you will have 
to sing to me." 

" What shall I sing ? " Caedmon replied. 

" Sing," said the other, " the beginning of things 
created." 

Then, still in his sleep, Caedmon began to sing in 
verse of how the Lord created heaven and earth. 
When he awakened the next morning, he remem^ 



48 

bered his dream and the verses he had made. As 
he repeated them to himself, he added new ones. 
He had suddenly learned to put into words the 
songs that haid been hidden in his heart. He was so 
happy that he told one of the other servants in the 
monastery of his new gift. 

Soon afterwards he was taken before Hilda and 
bidden to tell his dream. When Hilda had heard 
his verses, she said quietly, " Surely this is the gift of 
God." Then she read Caedmon another story from 
the Bible, and bade him turn it into verse. This he 
did, and then Hilda bade him become a monk and 
live in the monastery. He now had time to learn 
the beautiful stories in the Bible, and one after an- 
other he turned them into sweet verses. He sang 
the history of the Children of Israel, their captivity 
and exile, and their entrance into the Promised 
Land. And later he sang of the birth of Jesus 
in the lowly manger and his life and death upon 
the cross. So he lived many years, a devout and 
humble man, until he died one night as he lay 
sleeping. 

But his songs went from one monastery to another, 
until they were known throughout the land. They 
were so beautiful that they inspired many other 
monks to write verses, but none could write so well 
as the master, Caedmon. These poems are called 



49 

" The School of Caedmon." They are different 
from the poems that our poets write to-day, but they 
are poetry because they too are full of beautiful 
thoughts and pictures. 

We can see this if we read these few verses which 
were written about the dove that Noah let fly from 
the ark : — 

" Far and wide she flew, 

Glad in flying free, till she found a place, 

Fair, where she fain would rest ! With her feet she stept 

On a gentle tree. Gay of mood and glad was she. 
• • • • • • • 

Then she fluttered feathers ; went a-flying off again, 

With her booty flew, brought it to the sailor 

From an olive wood a twig ; right into his hand, 

Bore the blade of green. 

Then the chief of seamen knew that gladness was at hand." 



CANUTE, THE DANISH KING 

The years that followed Alfred's peace were years 
of most terrible warfare. Ever and again, the 
mighty black ships of the Danes came coasting along 
England's shores and sailing boldly up the rivers. 
And wherever the Danes went they left a trail no 
less black than their ships, a trail of villages burned 
to the ground. Some of the English kings met 
these dreaded invaders in battle; and some of them 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — 4 



so 

» 

bought the Danes off with large sums of money. 
The Danes took the money, went home, and waited 
only until they could gather together fresh men 
and build new boats to break their promises and 
sweep down upon England. Finally, in despera- 
tion, Ethelred, the English king, ordered every 
Dane left in England to be slain. Among those 
who were put to death was Gunhild, the sister of 
Sweyn, king of Denmark. 

" My death will bring many wars upon your land," 
she murmured with her last breath. 

This prophecy was soon fulfilled. The next year 
Sweyn himself landed in England to avenge the 
death of his sister and countrymen. Sweyn had a 
most gorgeous fleet. The beaks of his ships were 
of brass ; the sterns were adorned with lions of gold, 
and on the mastheads were birds and dragons for 
weathercocks. Sweyn made many attacks on Eng- 
land, and the story of his ravages and plundering are 
terrible to read. At last Ethelred, who was called 
the Unready, had to leave his country, and Sweyn 
became the real king of England. But Sweyn died 
before he was crowned. 

His young son, Canute, who had accompanied his 
father to England on this last voyage, now took up 
his father's work. Soon afterwards Ethelred the 
Unready died, and his son, Edmund Ironsides, 



SI 

claimed the English crown. These two sons 
fought many battles, and, when at last both forces 
were worn out, they met on a small island and 
agreed that Canute should reign over Northern, 
and Edmund Ironsides over Southern, England. 
Scarcely had these terms been agreed to when 
Edmund Ironsides died, and all England was left 
in the hands of a Danish king. 

It might be thought that Canute, who had been 
such a cruel foe, would have been a heartless king; 
but this was far from true. When his people swore 
obedience to him, he promised to rule them justly, 
and he kept his promise well. He sent his Danish 
soldiers home, and ruled according to England's 
law. He built churches, and was a good friend to 
the monks and nuns. He even made a pilgrimage 
to Ronie to pray for the forgiveness of his sins and 
for the welfare of his new subjects. Sometimies he 
used to row on the river at Ely and listen to the chant- 
ing of the monks in the great cathedral. When the 
service was over, he bade his boatmen sing a song 
as they plied their oars, and made up himself this 
little verse for them to sing : — 

" The Ely monks sang clear and high 
As King Canute was passing by. 
' Row near the land and hear them sing,' 
V Cried to the boatmen Canute the King." 



52 

Canute loved also to listen to the songs of min- 
strels. One evening he saw a stranger at the feast 
" He looks like a poet," said the king ; " bid him sing 
us a song." The stranger, who was Othere the 
Black, an Icelander, stepped forth and asked that 



Canute lisientng lo the Monks of Ely. 

he might recite a poem about the king. Canute 
consented, and when the poet had done, he praised 
it highly. He took from his head a Russian cap 
that he was wearing, a cap embroidered with gold, 
and bade his chamberlain fill it with silver for the 
poet. The chamberlain did as he was told, but in 
passing the cap over the heads of the great crowd 
that was assembled, some of the silver pieces fell 
upon the floor. He stooped to pick them up, but 
the king's voice stopped him. " The poor shall 



e and Ihe Rising Tide. 



54 

have it, and thou shalt not lose thereby," he said 
to Othere the Black. 

There is another tale that we read in the old 
chronicles about the Danish king. It is very 
quaintly written : — 

"In the very height of his power, he [Canute] 
bade them set his chair on the shore of the sea, 
when the tide was flowing; and to the tide, as it 
flowed, he said, * Thou art my subject ; and the land 
on which I sit is mine; nor hath there ever been 
one that resisted my bidding, and suffered not. I 
command thee therefore, that thou come not up on 
my land, nor presume to wet the garments and 
limbs of thy lord.' But the sea, rising after its 
wont, wetted without respect the legs and feet of 
the king. Therefore, leaping back, he said, * Let 
all dwellers on the earth know that the power of 
kings is a vain and foolish thing, and that no one 
is worthy to bear the name of king save only Him, 
whose bidding the heavens, and the earth, and the 
sea obey by everlasting laws.' Nor ever thereafter 
did King Canute set his crown of gold upon his 
head, but put it forever on the image of our Lord, 
which was fastened to the cross." 



55 



WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR 

In the year 1066 the king of England lay dead, 
leaving no heir to the throne. These were days 
when England needed a strong leader, for invaders 
were still seeking her shores; so the Witan, or council 
of Wise Men, hastened to assemble and select a ruler. 
The lot fell upon Earl Harold, and through England 
and through Europe rode messengers proclaiming 
"King Edward is dead, and Earl Harold has been 
chosen king." 

Now across the channel from England in France 
lies a fair province that had been seized and settled 
by the men of the North, much as England had been 
by the Danes, and had been given the name of 
Normandy. The Duke of Normandy was a relative 
of the late King Edward, and it was claimed that 
Edward had promisedhim the English crown. There 
is another story that Earl Harold had taken an oath 
to help Duke William claim the throne. For not 
many months before King Edward died. Earl Harold 
was shipwrecked on the coast of Normandy. As was 
customary in those times, he was taken prisoner and 
held for a large ransom. Then Earl Harold sent 
word of his sorry plight to the duke, and besought 
him to free him. The duke had the English earl 
brought before him, and bade him swear on the 



Prayer Book that he would help him, Duke William, 
in his claim to the English throne. Earl Harold took 
the oath, and then William lifted up the Prayer Book 
and showed him that it rested upon some holy relics. 
Such an oath was doubly sacred. Thus did Harold 
gain his freedom. 

Now when the herald brought word to Normandy 
that Harold was seated on the English throne, Duke 
William was off on the hunt. Such anger flashed 



Harold's Oath. 
(From Bgyeui Tapestiy) 

from his eyes that no one dared speak to him. He 
laid down his great bow, that no man but he could 
draw, and strode back to the castle. There he sat 
down on a bench in the great hall, and leaned his 
head against a stone pillar, drawing his mantle over 



his face. His companions followed him in silence, 
and sat down about him in the great hall. Only 



"The Norman fleel set sail." , 

one, bolder than all the rest, dared at length to 
speak. "Arise and be doing," he cried. "There is 
no need for mourning. Cross the sea, and snatch 
the kingdom from the usurper's hand." 

The old Viking blood was aroused in William. 
He sent messengers into all the neighboring coun- 
tries, offering gold and castles in England to any 
man who would come and serve him with bow and 
spear. He ordered the trees of the Norman forests 
to be hewn down and ships built of them. He sent 
word to the Pope that Harold had broken his oath, 
and asked his leave to punish the usurper. The Pope 
sent back his consent and a banner which he had 
blessed. 

On the afternoon of September 27 the Norman 
fleet set sail. At nine the next morning the Mora, 



58 

William's vessel, lay at anchor on the coast of Sussex. 
As William set foot on English soil, he stumbled and 
fell, and his men gave a groan at this omen of ill luck. 
But the duke seized a handful of sand, crying, " By 
the splendor of God, I have taken my kingdom ; see 
the earth of England in my two hands." 

In the meantime Harold had been fighting in the 
North, and was at a feast celebrating a great victory, 
when word came that the Normans had landed on 
his shore. With all speed he made his way to the 
South, collecting his army as he went. In the mid- 
dle of October, in the year 1066, the English and 
Normans stood face to face, arrayed for battle. The 
English stood on a hill, every soldier covered by his 
shield and armed with his huge battle ax. In the 
midst of them stood the noble Harold, on foot, hold- 
ing the royal banner. 

On the hill opposite were drawn up the Norman 
host. In front ranged the archers in a long line; 
behind them the foot soldiers, and in the rear the 
horsemen. " God help us ! " was their battle cry ; and 
it sprang from many hundred lips. 

" God's Rood ! Holy Rood ! " answered the Eng- 
lish ; and they waited for the Normans to make the 
attack. A tall Norman knight rode forth alone on 
a prancing steed, tossing his heavy sword in the air 
and catching it as it fell, and singing songs of the 



6o 

bravery of his fellow countrymen. From the Eng- 
lish forces, a knight rode out to meet him, and fell 
by the Norman's hand. A second English knight 
advanced, and fell. The third came forth, and killed 
the Norman. The battle of Hastings had begun. 

It began at dawn ; at sunset it was still raging. 
Once the cry went out that William had been slain. 
Duke William instantly snatched his helmet from 
his head, and shouting " I live ! " rode down the 
front of his line. 

At last William feigned a retreat. The excited 
English, confident in their victory, rushed upon the 
Normans. Then the Normans turned about. 

" There are still thousands of the English firm as 
rocks about their king. Shoot ! " was William's cry. 
And the Norman arrows fell like hail on the 
English host. The Normans won the day. The 
English found their king among the slain, and knew 
that their cause was lost. 

On Christmas Day, William, Duke of Normandy, 
was crowned in Westminster Abbey as William I 
of England. The question was put first in French 
to the Normans, " Will you have William for your 
king .? " 

They answered, " Yea, yea." 

Then it was repeated to the Saxons in English, 
and their reply was the same, " Yea, yea." 



In fact, so loudly did the Saxons shout their an- 
swer that the Norman guards outside mistook it for 



Coronation of William Ihe Conqueror. 

an outbreak. They began to set fire to the neigh- 
boring buildings, and a great tumult arose. The 



62 

crowd rushed out of the church in terror, and Wil- 
liam was left alone in the Abbey with a few priests, 
who hastened to place the crown upon his head. 

William had won his kingdom by might, and he 
was obliged to keep it by might. He brought over 
many Norman nobles, and had them build Norman 
castles all over England to defend him. At Lon- 
don he built the Tower, where hundreds of armed 
men stood ready to put down any rebellion. 

William was always the Conqueror, and his rule 
in England was severe. Still he bound the English 
together into one people, as they had never been 
united before. Like the Roman conquerors, the 
Normans, too, did much for England. The Nor- 
mans taught the English how to build better build- 
ings ; they blended their Norman French with the 
harsh Anglo-Saxon tongue, and gradually the new ' 
English language was born. 

Yet England never loved the Conqueror. There 
was no grief in the land when he died. He met his 
death in France, where he was at war with the 
French king. True to the old Norman fashion, he 
had plundered the town of Nantes and then set it 
on fire. Riding over the ruined city, his horse set 
foot on some glowing embers, reared, and William 
was thrown forward against the pommel of his sad- 
dle, receiving his death wound. He lay for six 



63 

weeks in a little monastery near Rouen, where\ 
made his will, leaving England to his son William, 
Normandy to his son Robert, and a large sum of 
money to Henry, the youngest. The sons were so 
anxious to seize their new possessions that they hur- 
ried away without waiting for their father to die, and 
William the Conqueror was buried by the priests in 
an unknown grave, across the sea from the land 
which he had conquered. 



KING HENRY AND THE WHITE SHIP 

Two of William's sons ruled England after him ; 
his namesake first, who was called William Rufus 
because of his red beard, and, on his death, Henry, 
who bore the name of Beauclerc, or the Scholar. 
William, as soon as he heard that his father was 
dying, came hurrying in breathless haste to Win- 
chester to claim his throne. This same greed 
showed all through his reign. He sought to get 
Normandy away from his brother Robert, and thus 
brought many wars upon England. There was 
little grief felt when the news came that the Red 
King was dead. He went a-hunting one morning 
in one of the great forests that his father had 
stocked with game. A single companion rode out 



64- 

by his side into the wood. That evening a poor 
charcoal burner going home found the body of the 
king shot through by an arrow. 

With no less speed than William had shown on 
his father's death, Henry now hastened to Winches- 
ter to seize the royal treasury. But the keeper of 
the treasury refused to give it up. Then Henry the 
Scholar drew his sword from the scabbard, and 
threatened to kill the treasurer. As the treasurer 
stood alone and Henry was surrounded by a group 
of barons who were determined to make him king, 
the treasurer stepped aside, and Henry took the 
jewels and the crown for his own. Three days later 
the coronation took place in Westminster, Abbey, 
and Henry I " promised God and all the people to 
put down all the injustices that were in his brother's 
time, and to maintain the best laws that stood in 
any king's day before him." 

One of his first deeds was to imprison in the 
Tower Flambard, or Firebrand, whom the Red 
King had made Bishop of Durham. His reason for 
doing this seemed to be because Firebrand had been 
a favorite of William Rufus. Firebrand was a very 
jolly man, and soon had won the friendship of all 
his keepers by his jokes and good nature. They 
pretended not to see a long rope that was sent into 
the Tower coiled at the bottom of a cask of wine. 



6i 

The guards took the wine, and the bishop the rope, 
and the next morning he was out at sea on his way 
to Normandy. 

In Normandy he met Robert, Henry's older 
brother, who had been away on a crusade at the 
time of the Red King's death. Firebrand and 
others persuaded Robert that he should have been 
king of England instead of Henry, and urged him 
to declare war upon his brother. Most of the 
English took Henry's side, but one, the Earl of 
Shrewsbury, went over to Robert. There was, how- 
ever, no war. Robert was a gentle, trusting nature, 
and when his brother promised to pay him a pension 
and to pardon all his followers, he returned home to 
Normandy. King Henry's way of keeping his 
promise was to first banish the Earl of Shrewsbury 
from the land. The earl fled to Normandy, where 
Robert befriended him. 

Meantime Henry had but been waiting for an 
excuse to attack Robert. He declared now that 
Robert, had broken the treaty, and invaded Nor- 
mandy, saying he had come to free the Normans 
>,from his brother's misrule. Indeed, affairs were 
going very bad in Normandy, for Robert, although 
good and kind, was not a ruler. He trusted 
all men, and his servants were quick to perceive 
this. It was said that sometimes he had to lie 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — K 



66 

abed all day because his servants had stolen all his 
clothes. 

But he headed his troops now like a brave prince 
and gallant soldier, and went to the war. Fortune 
went against him, however. He was taken prisoner, 
and sentenced by his brother to be shut up for life 
in one of the royal castles. He was allowed to 
ride out, but only under strict guard. One morn- 
ing he broke from the guard and galloped off. , He 
might have escaped, but that his path crossed a 
swamp. The horse stuck fast in the marsh, and 
the royal prisoner was taken back to the castle. 
When Henry heard of .this, he ordered him to be 
blinded. 

So for years and years poor Robert lived on in 
his dark prison, a sad-hearted, lonely man, glad 
enough to die when the end came. 

There was a great sorrow in store for King 
Henry I, in spite of his victories. He was very 
eager that Normandy should always belong to the 
English king. Thus he set sail, one fair day, with 
his only son, for Normandy. He wished to have 
the Norman nobles acknowledge the prince as their 
future sovereign. The ceremony was performed 
with great pomp, and in November Henry, his 
retinue, and the prince were ready to embark for 
England. On the very day on which they were to 



^7 

set sail, an old sea captain, Fitz Stephen, came to 
the king and said: — 

" My iiege, the king, my father served your father, 
the great William, for many years upon the sea. 
His hand was at 
the helm of the 
Boat with the 
Golden Boy that 
brought the Con- 
queror to England. 
I ask of you this 
boon, that I may 
carry you in my 
boat, the White 
Ship, across the 
same path that my 
father bore your 
father." 

" It grieves me," 
replied the king, 
" that I cannot 

, . "The king sel sail." 

grant this request; 

but my vessel is already chosen and made ready. 

I will, however, intrust to your White Ship, and 

your hand, the prince and all his company." 

An hour later, when the wind was fair, the king 

set sail, and came the next morning safely to the 



68 

English shore. But the prince delayed his sailing. 
He loved Normandy, and hated England. " When 
I am king," he had once said, " I will yoke the 
English to the plow like oxen." He did not sail 
until night. One hundred nobles and eighteen 
ladies of high rank came on to the White Ship to 
sail with him. 

" Now let us make merry before we leave," quoth 
the Prince. " Let each of the fifty sailors have his 
fill of wine. We have time yet to reach England 
with the rest." 

They made merry indeed. The sailors drank their 
flasks of wine, and the noble lords and ladies danced 
on the deck in the moonlight. At last the command 
was given to sail, and Fitz Stephen stood at the helm. 
The Prince cried to the sailors to ply their oars for 
the honor of the White Ship. 

In the night there was a terrible crash, and then 
the White Ship stood still. She had struck upon 
the rocks. Fitz Stephen hurried the Prince into a 
small boat with some nobles : — 

" Row for the land with all your might," he cried. 

But as they were rowing, the prince heard the voice 
of his sister Marie. " Row back — back at any risk," 
he cried. 

The rowboat turned back. As it came near the 
sinking ship, a hundred or more nobles and seamen 



69 

rushed forward and sprang into it It was the one 
means of escape. The small boat upset, and the sink- 
ing ship went down. They sank together. Only 
two men floated on the sea, clinging to the broken 
mast. 

" Who are you ? " asked one. 

" I am a nobleman, Godfrey by name ; and who 
are you ? " 

" I am Berold, a poor butcher of Roueti." 

Then they added in one breath " God be merci- 
ful to us both." 

Through the darkness they slowly distinguished 
another swimmer. It was Fitz Stephen. " Where 
is the prince .»* " he cried. 

" Drowned," was the answer. Then Fitz Stephen 
cried," Woe is me," and sank, even as his ship had 
sunk. 

The other two clung to the mast a little longer un- 
til Godfrey's hands were so chilled that he could hold 
on no longer. " Farewell, my friend, may God pre- 
serve you," he said feebly, and let go. Only the 
butcher survived to tell the terrible tale. Some fisher- 
men found him the next morning, more dead than 
alive, floating in his great sheepskin coat. 

For three days no one was found brave enough to 
bear the sad news to the king. At last a little boy 
was sent in, but he could only weep, and finally stam- 



mered, " The White Ship." That was enough. The 
king understood, and though he lived to reign seven 
years longer over England, he was never seen to smile 
again. 



-<K>>K<x»- 



THOMAS A.BECKET 

Once upon a time a London merchant; Gilbert h 
Becket, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 
Before he reached Jerusalem, however, he and his 
servant Richard were both captured by a Saracen lord. 
The Saracen had one daughter, who was very beau- 
tiful, and who straightway fell in love with the Eng- 
lish prisoner, and promised to help him to escape if he 
would carry her home with him to England. Gil- 
bert's heart was touched by her beauty and her love, 
and he promised to wed her if she would free him. 
At last an opportunity of escape came, and Gilbert 
fled from the Saracens, quite forgetting in his haste 
both the Saracen lady and his promises to her. But 
she did not forget him so soon. Gathering together 
her jewels and gold, she dressed herself in disguise, 
and went out to follow him. Two English words 
were all she knew: " London " and her lover's name, 
"Gilbert." When she came to the seacoast she 
wandered up and down among the ships, repeating 
over and over, *' London," "London," " London " and 



71 

showing her jewels. Finally the sailors understood 
that she wanted to go to London, and was oflfering 
her jewels to pay her passage. So they put her in 
an English ship and bade her God-speed. 

One day Gilbert a Becket, busy in his counting 
house, heard a great noise in the street. He looked 
out, and saw a great crowd gathered about a lady 
dressed in the bright-colored costume of the East. 
J4ist then Richard, his servant, came running in, 
shouting: " Master, master, the Saracen lady is here 
in London going up and down the streets crying 
"Gilbert." Gilbert could not believe the words, but 
he looked again, and his eyes told him that Richard 
had spoken truly. Then he bade him fetch her in; 
and when the lady saw her lover she fainted in his 
arms. In a few days they were married. They had 
one son, Thomas, who became the favorite of King 
Henry H of England. Thomas was very clever, 
very brave, and very rich. When the king made 
him chancellor of England, he lived in state almost 
equal to the king. He was sent once as ambassador 
to France, and when he entered that country "his 
procession was headed by two hundred and fifty 
boys. Then came his hounds in couples; then eight 
wagons, each drawn by five horses driven by five 
drivers; two of the wagons filled with strong ale to 
be given away, four with his gold and silver plate 



72 

and stately clothes; two with the dresses of his 
numerous servants.' Then came twelve horses, each 
wdth a monkey on his back ; then a train of people 
bearing shields and leading five war horses splen- 
didly equipped; then falconers with hawks upon 
their wrists; then a host of knights, and gentlemen 
and priests; then the chancellor with his brilliant 
garments flashing in the sun, and all the people 
capering and shouting with delight." 

The king was delighted to have such a fa- 
vorite. He thought it made his own splendor 
greater to have such a chancellor. .If we would 
know how Henry H himself looked, we must 
look among the old chronicles. " You ask me to 
send you an accurate description of the appearance 
and character of the King of England," writes Peter 
of Blois, secretary to Henry H. "You may know 
then that our king is still ruddy, except as old age 
and whitening hair have changed his color a little. 
He is of medium stature so that among small men 
he does not seem large, nor yet among large men 
does he seem small. His head is spherical, as if the 
abode of great wisdom. . . . His eyes are full, guile- 
less and dovelike when he is at peace, gleaming like 
fire when his temper is aroused, and in bursts of 
passion they flash like lightning. . . . His feet are 
arched and he has the legs of a horseman. Although 



73 

his legs are bruised from hard riding, he never sits 
down except when on horseback or at meals. . . . He 
does not loiter in his palace like other kings, but 
hurrying through the provinces he investigates what 
is being done everywhere." 

This was King Henry II of England. Such a 
king was eager to be sole leader in the land. When 
Henry found that the churches looked to their 
bishops instead of to him, he decided to make his 
chancellor, Thomas ^ Becket, Archbishop of Can- 
terbury. He thought that through him he would 
have control over the Church. 

Thomas ^ Becket hesitated to accept, but his long- 
ing for fame finally made him consent. Great now 
was Henry's surprise when Thomas suddenly 
changed the whole manner of living. He turned 
off his brilliantly clad followers. He ate coarse food, 
dressed himself in sackcloth, and washed the feet 
of thirteen pilgrims every day. He was soon talked 
about as archbishop much more than he had been as 
chancellor. 

At first the king was amused, then, when Thomas 
strongly took the side of the Church in all disputes 
between the clergy and the crown, the king grew 
angry. A great quarrel arose. Finally .Thomas a 
Becket, disguised as poor Brother Deaman, had to 
flee to Flanders. After many years, the king^ of 



74 

France arranged a meeting between Henry and 
Thomas ^ Becket, to try to bring about peace. The 
quarrel had gone on for six years, and both men were 
utterly weary of it. They decided to forget the past. 
The archbishop came back to England, although he 
had been warned that he should not live to eat a 
loaf of bread there. 

The first piece of news that reached his ears on 
arriving home was that during his absence Henry II 
had had his eldest son crowned. This so enraged 
the Archbishop of Canterbury that he at once ex- 
communicated the bishops who had performed the 
coronation. Henry H was in Normandy. When 
word was brought him of Becket's deed, he cried out 
before all his court, " Will no one deliver me from 
this man ? " 

Four knights who were present slipped quietly 
out of the room. A day or so later they appeared 
before the Archbishop of Canterbury. They neither 
bowed nor spoke, but sat down upon the floor. At 
length Thomas ^ Becket said, " What do you want ? " 

" That you take off the excommunication from 
the bishops," was their reply. 

When he refused they went out, sullen and defiant. 
They came back a little later, fully armed and with 
drawn swords. But in the 'meantime the archbishop 
had gone into the cathedral to service. His ser\'ants 



75 

would have fastened the church doors, but he said, 
" No. This is God's house and not a fortress." 

Even as he was speaking the four knights came 
through the door. Their sword blades flashed 



Thomas a Beckel. 

through the darkness of the church, and their armed 
tread resounded as they came over the stone pave- 
ment. "Where is the traitor?" they shouted. 

Thomas i Becket turned where he stood, beside 
a great stone pillar, but he made no answer. 

" Where is the archbishop .'' " they thundered. 

" I am here," answered Becket proudly. 

Then they slew him, then and there, in his own 
cathedral. 



76 

When the king learned of the archbishop's death, 
he was filled with dismay, and declared that his 
words were uttered in a fit of temper, and he had 
no desire that they should be fulfilled. The knights 
who had done the terrible deed fled from the court, 
and finally for penance went to Jerusalem where 
they died. 

With Thomas st Becket dead, Henry II could rule 
very much as he pleased. But there were sad days 
waiting for the close of his reign ^ His son Henry, 
whom he had had crowned, died, and his other two 
sons revolted agamst him, trying to seize the crown. 
When Henry II saw that the name of his favorite 
son was among the conspirators, he leaned his face 
to the wall. " Let things go now as they will," he 
moaned ; " I care no more for myself or the world." 



-•OJ0<OO. 



RICHArD I — ENGLAND'S ROYAL CRUSADER 

In the year 1188, the news reached Europe that 
Jerusalem had again fallen into the hands of the 
Turks. The crusading spirit spread across the 
continent. Even the kings and princes pledged 
themselves to give their personal aid in recapturing 
Jerusalem. Among the foremost to give his promise 
was Richard of the Lion Heart, one of Henry's re- 



77 

bellious sons. When, a year later, Henry died, and 

Richard bethought 

him of all his cruet 

deeds toward his 

father, he was the 

more eager to go to 

the Holy Land. 

The crusade would 

bringhim full pardon, 

he believed, for all 

his misdeeds. 

Richard was 
crowned in West- 
minster Abbey with 
great ceremony. He 
marched into the 
church under a silken 
panoply, stretched 
on the top of four 
lances, each carried 
by a mighty lord. 
As soon as the cor- 
onation was over, he 
began to raise money 

for the crusade. He Ri^^ard of .h= uon H«art. 

sold the lands which 
belonged to the crown. He sold his castles. He 



78 

said he would even sell London itself, if he could 
find a purchaser whose purse was long enough. At 
last he set out with his splendid army, leaving his 
kingdom in the care of two bishops and his brother 
John. 

Richard stopped first at the island of Messina in 
Sicily. His sister had married the king there, but 
he had died, and his brother, Tancred, had seized the 
throne and put the widow in prison. Richard made 
it his first duty to free his sister. His large forces 
soon frightened Tancred into submission. He re- 
leased Richard's sister, restored her lands, and pre- 
sented her with a golden chain, four-and-twenty 
silver cups, and four-and-twenty silver dishes. 

So when peace was once more brought about in 
the island, Richard sailed on to Cyprus. We may 
well imagine that the restless, burly Richard was 
only too glad to pick a quarrel with the sovereign of 
this island. Before many days there was fighting, 
and the end of it was that Richard ordered the king 
to be bound in silver fetters, and claimed Cyprus 
for his own. 

These exploits of Richard made Philip of France, 
who was also on his way to the Holy Land, very 
jealous. Richard and he had been great friends, 
but when the two monarchs met now at Acre, 
neither would agree with the other as to the 



79 

best time to make an attack on this town. The 
result of it was that Philip of France finally gave 
up the crusade and returned to his own country. 

Richard had now left one other royal ally, the 
Duke of Austria, and before very long he had quar- 
reled with him. There came a pause in the fighting, 
and during this time Richard busied his men by 
rebuilding some fortifications. When he asked the 
Duke of Austria to assist in this task, the latter 
replied, " I am not a bricklayer." Whereupon 
Richard is reported to have kicked the duke, who 
returned to Austria in a rage. 

With his enemies, Richard managed to keep 
on better terms. Saladin, the ruler of the Sara- 
cens, was a finely built man, as stanch and brave 
a fighter as the lion-hearted English king. He and 
Richard both admired each other, and when they 
were not in battle, were very friendly. 

There is a story that Richard visited Saladin 
in his tent, and was boasting of his skill as a 
swordsman. 

" Come now and show us what your royal high- 
ness can do!" said Saladin at last. 

Then Richard drew his sword, and with one 
mighty stroke cut in two one of the huge iron 
props of the tent. Saladin and all his court ap- 
plauded loudly. Then the ruler of the Saracens 



Richard Flghiing the Saracens. 

unsheathed his sword. He took a flimsy veil from 
the neck of one of the dancing girls who sat at his 
feet, and tossed it into the air. As it floated down- 
ward, Hke a soft cloud, he unsheathed his sword, 
and with a deft blow cut it in twain. 

Afterwards, when Richard fell ill of the desert 
fever, Saladin sent him fruits and snow and ice 
which had been brought down from the summit 



of Mount Lebanon. Still this friendship was en- 
tirely forgotten when the war was on, and many 
brave English 
soldiers were left 
dead upon the des- 
ert before Richard 
turned his face 
southward. 

They reached 
Jerusalem at last. 
But rumors of 
troubles in Eng- 
land had come to 
Richard's ears, and 
he bethought him 
that it was time for 
him to go back 
and look after his 
people. He stayed 
in Palestine only 
long enough to 
deliver some 
Christians whom . _ . 

A Crusader. 

the Saracens were 

besieging. Then he signed a truce with the 

Saracens to last three years, three months, three 

weeks, and three days. The weather was threaten- 

UT. STO. OFENC — 6 



ing, but the impatient Richard heeded neither wind 
nor tide. He set sail in a small vessel with a few 
followers, only to be shipwrecked in the Adriatic 
Sea. With great difficulty he succeeded in reaching 
land, and then determined to make his way home 
on foot 

As he had to go through Austria, he disguised 
himself as a poor pilgrim, hoping thus to escape the 
notice of the duke. He feared 
that the duke's anger had not sub- 
sided yet, and in a few days he 
learned that this was true. Rich- 
ard was recognized by a ring which 
he always wore. He was taken 
prisoner and hidden in a German 
castle. 

When the rumor of his imprison- 
ment spread over Europe, Philip 
of France and Richard's brother 
John rejoiced greatly. They be- 
^'""Rthird!""' g^" to plan how they would di- 
vide up his kingdom. But one 
heart, so an old story goes, beat true to his king. 
Blondel, a young minstrel, resolved to find and free 
his master. He set out across Europe, earning his 
daily bread by singing in the streets. Every time 
he came to a castle, he paused and sang beneath its 



83 

walls, hoping his master might hear him and reply. 
One night his heart was very sad, and beneath an 
ivied turret he sat down to rest, iand sang softly the 
first verse of a song which only he and Richard 
knew. As he finished the verse, a strong voice 
from within the tower took up the second stanza. 
He hastened back to England to tell the people 
that Richard was found. 

The German emperor refused to free Richard 
until a large ransom was paid, but this the English 
people quickly raised, and King Richard returned 
to his throne. 

King Richard loved a fight. He found plenty of 
trouble awaiting him at home. Then, when he had 
settled the affairs of his realm, he made war with 
France. During a truce, word came to him that an 
English lord, the Viscount of Limoges, had dug up 
a great treasure on his land, twelve knights of gold 
seated at a golden table. Being the king's vassal, 
and an honest one at that, he immediately sent one 
half of the treasure to his king ; but the king de- 
manded the whole. When the viscount refused to 
give it, he returned to England and besieged his 
castle. 

Now there was an old song that had often been 
sung in that part of the country, saying that an ar- 
row should be made in Limoges by which Richard 



84 

should die. This arrow lay in the quiver of Ber- 
trand de Gourdon. From his post within the castle 
he could easily distinguish the king. Richard's 
great figure towered above all his men. Bertrand 
de Gourdon took aim, and the arrow flew to its 
mark. The wound was not fatal, but Richard had 
to retire to his tent. The physicians who attended 
him did their work so badly that it soon became 
known that Richard was dying. 

The castle was taken, and all who had fought 
against the king were put to death. Only one life 
was to be saved, that of Bertrand de Gourdon. He 
was put in chains and brought before Richard. He 
met Richard's bold gaze by one equally bold. 
" Knave," said tlie king, " what did I ever do to 
thee that thou shouldst take my life.'^ " 

The knight pointed to the ruined castle. " Yon- 
der my father and my two brothers lie slain by thine 
hand. Myself thou wouldst have hanged. Torture 
me now as thou wilt. I am content, since through 
me England is quit of such a king." 

A gentle note came into the king's voice. 
" Youth," he said, " I forgive thee. Take off his 
chains," he said to his guard ; " give him a hundred 
shillings, and let the youth go free." 

He sank down on his couch and died. And the 
officers, who had truly loved their lord, heeded not 



85 

his last command, but in their grief hanged Ber- 
trand who had slain Richard of the Lion Heart. 



-oojOioo- 



ROBIN HOOD OF SHERWOOD FOREST 

It was in the days of King Richard's reign, that 
Robin Hood, England's boldest outlaw, lived in 
Sherwood Forest, with his famous archers, all clad 
in Lincoln green. The lieutenant of Robin Hood's 
band was named Little John because of his size. 
They say that he stood seven feet high or more, 
and measured an ell around the waist. And this is 
the manner in which Robin Hood first met Little 
John. 

The hunting was poor in Sherwood Forest, and 
Robin Hood had told his men that he would go out 
alone. He made his way through the wood and 
was crossing a stream on a narrow foot bridge when 
he met a stranger half way. Neither would give 
way to let the other pass. Then Robin Hood grew 
angry and drew his bow to shoot the man. But the 
stranger spoke up boldly : — 

" You are indeed a fine fellow to shoot at a man 
who has naught with him but a staff." 

" That is just, truly," replied the outlaw ; " and 
so I will lay down my bow and arrow and get me a 



staff like thine to try if thy deeds be as good as thy 

words." 

So saying, he went into a thicket and cut himself 

a young oak sapling and returned to the foot bridge. 
"Now I am 
your match," he 
cried, " and whoso 
shall first knock 
the other into the 
water shall be 
awarded the vic- 
tory.". 

So they sparred 
together with their 
staves right mer- 
rily. First Robin 
smote the stranger 
such a blow that it 
warmed his blood 
from top to toe, and 
"theirsticks rattled 

Robin and Liule John. 

as if they had been 
threshing corn." But the stranger had the greater 
strength. He brought his stave down on Robin's 
head with such force that the outlaw fell headlong 
into the stream. Then the stranger laughed loud 
and long. Looking down into the water, he cried: — 



87 

" Where are you now, my good fellow ? " 

And Robin answered as he waded to the shore, 
" I grant that thou hast won the day." 

Then he raised his horn to his lips and blew a 
blast. And at that, fifty bowmen, clad in green, 
sprang out of the wood and rallied about them. 

" Why, master, ye are wet to the skin," cried one 
of his men. " What may this mean ? " 

" Naught," responded Robin, " save that that 
fellow on yonder bridge tumbled me into the 
water." 

Then the men would have seized the stranger 
and ducked him, but Robin forbade them. 

" No one shall harm thee, friend," he 'said, " of 
all these my bowmen; but if you will be one of 
us, you shall straightway have my livery. What 
say you.?" 

" With all my heart," said the stranger. " Here is 
my hand upon it. My name is John Little, and I 
will be a good man and true to you." 

Then Robin took his hand, and laughing, said, 
"Not John Little, but Little John," for, as I told 
you, he stood seven feet and measured an ell about 
the waist. And then and there they christened him 
Little John, and he lived ever in the green wood 
with Robin Hood. 

Now the bold and merry deeds of Robin Hood 



and his men were told throughout the land, and came 
even to the ears of the king. They pleased King 
Richard, and made him wish to meet the outlaw. 
So, taking a dozen of his men, he dressed them all 
and himself in friars' gowns and rode out one morn- 
ing across to Sherwood Forest. They had hardly 
entered the wood 
when they came 
upon Robin Hood 
and his fifty yeo- 
men drawn up 
ready to assail 
them. With a bold 
step Robin came 
forward.and seized 
the bridle of the 
king's horse, and 
bade him halt. 
As' Richard was 
the tallest, Robin 
thought that he 

Robin and King Richard. ^gs the abbot. 

"Now stand," cried Robin, "for it is against ye 
and all like ye that we make war." 

" But," answered Richard, " we are messengers 
from the king, who is waiting not far off to speak 
to you." 



89 

" God save the king ! ^ quoth Robin, taking off 
his cap, "and all who wish him well I And ac- 
cursed be every man who does not acknowledge 
that he is king." 

Then replied the king, " You curse yourself, for 
you are a traitor." 

The angry look leaped into Robin's bold eye, 
and he held the bridle fast. "Were ye not the 
king's messenger, ye should rue that word," he an- 
swered; "for I never harmed an honest man in my 
life, but only those who steal goods from others. 
And, as you are the king's messengers, I bid you 
welcome in Sherwood Forest, and invite you to 
come and share our greenwood cheer." 

He brought the king to his tent, and there he 
blew upon his horn. Five score and ten of Robin 
Hood's men answered to the call, and knelt before 
their leader. And they laid a dinner for the king 
and his lords, who swore that they had never tasted 
a better. Then Robin took a can of ale, and cried, 
" To the king ! Let each man drink the health of 
the king." And they all drank, even the king to 
himself. 

After dinner the yeomen took their long bows, 
and showed the king such archery as he never had 
seen before even in foreign lands. Then said the 
king to Robin Hood ; — 



90 

" If I could get thee pardon from King Richard, 
wouldst thou serve the king well in all that thou^ 
didst ? " 

" Yea, with all my heart," said Robin ; and so said 
all his men. 

Then Richard said, " I am your king, who is now 
before you." 

And at these words Robin Hood and all of his 
men fell on their knees ; but the king bade them 
stand, and told them they should all be pardoned if 
they would enter his service. So Robin Hood and 
all his men went up to London to serve the king. 

But it was in Sherwood Forest that Robin met 
his death. There was a battle, and Robin was 
sore wounded. Then spoke he to Little John, his 
trusted friend : — 

" Now truly I cannot shoot one shot more, so 
I will go to my cousin, the abbess in Kirkley 
Hall, and bid her bleed me, for I am grievously 
wounded." 

Then he left Little John, and went alone to the 
abbey, and he was so weak when he reached there 
that he could scarce knock upon the door. 

" My cousin, ye see how weak I am," he said to 
the abbess. " I bid ye bleed me that I may not 
die." 

And his cousin took him to an upper room, 



where she laid him upon a bed and bled him. 
But she hated Robin Hood because of his wild 
pranks, and so did not tie up the vein again. Then 
Robin knew that his life was flowing out of him, 



Death of Robin. 

and sought to escape from the abbey, but he could 
not because he was so weak. Knowing that he 
must die, he raised his horn to hear once more the 
bugle call. 

Afar in Sherwood Forest Little John heard the 
blast, and said, " Alack and alas ! Robin must be 
near his death, for his blast is very weak," 

He got up from under the tree where he was 



9^ 

resting, and ran to Kirkley Hall as fast as his long 
legs could bear him. The door to the abbey was 
locked, but Little John broke it down and came to 
his master. He saw him lying upon the bed, and 
his face was strangely pale. 

" Good master, I beg one boon," cried Little 
John, as he fell upon. his knees. "Let me burn 
Kirkley Hall and the nunnery to the ground ! " for 
he saw that treachery had been done to Robin Hood. 

But Robin Hood said, " Nay, I cannot grant 
you your boon, for never in my life have I harmed 
a woman, nor shall it be done for my sake after I 
die. But I would ask a boon of you. Give me my 
long bow and arrow, and open wide the casement." 

Then Robin drew his bow for the last time, and 
let the arrow fly. 

"It lieth in the greenwood," quoth Robin. "Find 
it, Little John, and where ye shall find it there dig 
my grave. Make it long and broad, that I may lie 
easily. Place my head upon a green sward and my 
long bow at my side." 



JOHN AND THE. GREAT CHARTER 

England has never been ruled by a worse king 
than John. In all history we cannot find one good 



93 

deed recorded of him. He rebelled against his 
father, Henry H, when he was king. He was false to 
his brother Richard when he was in the Holy Land. 
He stole the English crown, which belonged by 
right to Richard's little nephew ; and then he filled 
his reign with unjust and dishonest deeds. 

One of John's worst faults was that he had a ter- 
rible temper. There is an old story that once when 
he was on a hunting trip he lost his way in a swamp 
near Olmwick. So angry was he over this misfor- 
tune that he swore to himself that every free man in 
the town should have the same experience. Conse- 
quently when the young men of Olmwick became of 
age, they were obliged to dress themselves in their 
best clothes and go down and wade through this 
muddy swamp. 

It is not surprising to learn that a man with such 
a temper was continually quarreling. One of his 
greatest quarrels arose over the appointing of a hew 
archbishop of Canterbury. John chose one man. 
The bishops chose another. When the matter was 
sent to the Pope to be decided, he chose a third, 
Stephen Langton. Now John hated Langton because 
he was a good and holy man. He refused to let 
Langton act as archbishop. Then the Pope showed 
his power. He placed England under an interdict. 
For six years no church bells sounded in the land. 



94 

No services were held in the churches. It was not 
even allowed to read the burial service for the dead. 
But John did not care. Even when the Pope went 
further and deposed John, giving his kingdom to 
Philip of France, the king only laughed. But John 
was always a coward. When he saw that an army 
was being collected to invade England, he became 
frightened. He begged the Pope's forgiveness; he 
promised to receive Langton; he laid his crown at 
the feet of the papal legate to show that he yielded 
his kingdom to the Pope; and he promised to pay a 
yearly tribute. The Pope at once removed the inter- 
dict, and forbade Philip to bring his army across 
the Channel. John felt now that all was well once 
more. 

But the English barons were far from pleased at 
John's deeds. They did not wish to become vassals 
of the Pope. They wanted England to be a free 
land and they themselves to be freemen. They saw 
that John had no real love for the English people. 
They despised his cowardice. At last they united 
under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and demanded of John that he sign a paper^ 
stating what were the rights of the English people, 
and restoring to them their tributes. When the 
king read the paper, he went half mad with rage. 
" Why do they not ask me for my kingdom ? " he 



95 

cried out. "I will never grant suchiibefties^ 
make me a slave." ( ^ . / .- 

The archbishop brought back the king^s'^tQfuSaK 
The barons then formed into a great army, which 
they called '' The Army of God and the Holy Church," 
and marched against London. London threw open 
her gates, and other towns were quick to follow her 
example. The king was taken quite by surprise. Only 
seven knights had remained on his side. He agreed 
to meet the barons on an island in the Thames, at 
the meadows of Runnymede, on the fifteenth of June. 

On that date the barons and their army were 
gathered on one bank of the river. The king was 
encamped on the other. Delegates from both sides 
were sent to the isla?nd. The Great Charter was 
talked over, and that very day King John put his 
sign and seal to it. He did not .dare do otherwise. 
Copies of the charter were $jent through the land, to 
be posted in all the cathedrals,'^and one copy still 
remains to-day, brown with age, one of the greatest 
treasures of the British Museum. 

The barons knew that John, who had so often 
broken his word, would not keep these promises un- 
less they forced him to. So before they parted, they 
appointed twenty-four barons, whose duty it should 
be to see that John ruled according to the charter, 
and to declare war upon him if he failed to do so. 



96 



King John signing the Great Charter. 

"They have given me four and twenty overkings," 
cried John, throwing himself on the floor in another 



97 

fit of rage. Surely, such a king had need of over- 
kings. But nothing could hold John to his word. 
He broke his promises, and then sent secretly to 
Europe for an army of foreign, paid soldiers. The 
barons as a last resort called Louis, the son of the 
King of France, to come and rule over them. As 
soon as Louis landed. King John fled. He always 
ran away as soon as a battle began. There was the 
greatest confusion throughout the land. In the 
midst of it all King John died. He was crossing a 
dangerous quicksand called the Wash, when the tide 
came up and nearly drowned his army. The royal 
treasure was swept away, and horses and baggage 
carried off in the swift current. Cursing his ill luck, 
the king hurried on to Swinestead Monastery. The 
monks, knowing his fondness for good things to eat, 
put before him ripe peaches and pears and beer. 
The king devoured this repast, and the next day lay 
ill with a burning fever. A horse litter was made 
ready in all haste, and the king carried to the nearest 
castle. A few days later he died, and England was 
free from as bad a king as ever sat upon the English 
throne. 



LIT. STO. OF ENO. — 7 



98 . 



HENRY III 

The jeweled crown had been lost in the flood 
with the other royal treasure, so John's little son 
was crowned with a circle of plain gold. 

" We have been the enemy of this child's father," 
said Lord Pembroke at the coronation; "and he 
merited our ill will ; but the child himself is inno- 
cent, and his youth demands our friendship and 
protection." 

So the ten-year-old boy was crowned Henry III 
of England, and Lord Pembroke chosen as regent, 
to rule until Henry should become of age. 

Lord Pembroke's first act was to promise to rule 
according to the Great Charter. That brought 
many of the barons, who had revolted against John, 
over to his side. Yet there were Prince Louis of 
France and his followers still in the land. But at 
last they were defeated in a sea fight, and Prince 
Louis went back to his own country, so poor, it is 
said, that he had to borrow money from the citizens 
of London to pay his traveling expenses. 

At the end of three years Lord Pembroke died 
and two protectors were chosen to look after the 
affairs of the kingdom, Peter de Roches, and Hu- 
bert de Burgh, who defeated the fleet of Prince 
Louis. These two personages did not like each 



99 

other, and when the king became of age Peter de 
Roches retired and went abroad. After an absence 
of ten years he returned. The king, in the mean- 
time, had grown tired of Hubert, and welcomed De 
Roches. He sought to find some way of getting rid 
of Hubert. Finally he accused him of misusing 
some of the funds in the royal treasury. Hubert, 
seeing that he had fallen out of favor, fled to an ab- 
bey instead of answering the charges. Then Henry 
summoned the Mayor of London, and said : " Take 
twenty thousand citizens, and drag Hubert de Burgh 
out of that abbey, and bring him to me." Some of 
his father's violent temper lived on in Henry. 

But a friend of Hubert s warned Henry that the 
abbey was sacred, and he had no right to harm Hu- 
bert there. So Henry called the mayor back, and 
proclaimed that for four months Hubert should be 
free to go as he chose and prepare his defense. 
Hubert came out of the abbey, and Henry pro- 
ceeded to break his word, just as his father had done 
before him. He ordered one Sir Godfred and his 
Black Band to seize Hubert. Hubert was in bed 
when he saw them coming. He leaped out, ran to 
the nearer church, and stood there breathless. He 
was within the sanctuary. But the Black Band 
cared nought for the rights of the Church. They fol- 
lowed through the open door, and dragged Hubert 



lOO 



out into the daylight. With swords flashing above 
Hubert's head, they commanded the blacksmith of 
the town then and there to rivet a set of chains upon 
him. The smith took one look at the prisoner's face. 

" This is the brave Earl Hubert de Burgh, who 
destroyed the French fleet and has done his coun- 
try much good service. You may kill me, if you 
like, but never a chain will I forge for Earl Hubert 
de Burgh." 

The Black Band kicked him aside in disgust, and 
had to be content with tying Earl Hubert on horse- 
back and carrying him off to London Tower. 
Thereupon the bishops became very angry because 
the king had violated the sanctuary of the church. 
They frightened Henry into releasing Hubert and 
sending him back to the little church where he had 
taken refuge. Henry did this, but he told the Black 
Band not to let Hubert escape. A deep trench was 
dug about the church, and a high fence built. The 
Black Band guarded it day and night. For thirty- 
nine days Sir Hubert held out. Then hunger drove 
him forth from the church, and he gave himself up. 
Once more the Black Band carried him off to the 
Tower. He was tried, and after some months of 
imprisonment was finally pardoned and his place 
restored to him. This was the unhappy story of a 
king's favorite. 



102 

As Henry grew older, he seemed to grow more 
and more like his father. He was not so cruel, but 
he was cowardly, and he hated the Great Charter. 
His greatest desire seemed to be to squeeze the 
pocketbooks of rich and poor throughout his realm 
into the royal treasury. 

In desperation, one day in May, the clergy and 
the barons met together in Westminster Hall, each 
one holding a burning candle in his hand. The 
king was present too, and the archbishop read in 
his most solemn voice the solemn words that any 
man in England who should infringe the Great 
Charter should be excommunicated, that is, cut off 
from all the privileges of the Church. When he had 
finished, there was a hush through the great hall. 
Then all together the barons and the clergy put out 
their candles, and uttered a curse upon any man who 
should deserve this punishment. Solemnly the king 
arose and promised to abide by the Great Charter. 
" I promise to do so," he said, " as I am a man, as I 
am a Christian, as I am a knight, as I am a king." 

The king made this promise without hesitation, 
and without hesitation he broke it The barons 
soon saw that they must deal with him as they had 
with his father. When Parliament assembled the 
next time, every man appeared clad in armor from 
top to toe. 



I03 

The story of the king s struggle with his barons 
is a long one. The great bell of St. Paul's at Lon- 
don was tolled to summon the people to war against 
their king. Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leices- 
ter, put himself at their head, and with his other 
forces marched to Lewes, where Henry and his son 
Edward lay in camp with their army. Before the 
battle, the Earl of Leicester stood up before his 
men, and said that Henry III had broken so many 
oaths that he had become the enemy of God, even as 
the Turks. Therefore he bade them wear white 
crosses on their breasts, and fight not as against 
Christians, but as against infidels.- The next morn- 
ing they went into battle wearing their white 
crosses. The king and the prince were both taken 
prisoners. 

The prince was always treated like a prince, but he 
was never allowed to go out without the Earl of Leices- 
ter's attendants. One afternoon he rode out under 
their guard into the country. When they came to a 
fine, level piece of turf, the prince suggested that this 
would be a good place to race their horses. He him- 
self did not race, but was the umpire. As they were 
riding home, chatting merrily over their horses, sud- 
denly a strange rider on a gray steed rode up over 
the top of the hill, and waved his hat once in the 
air. 



I04 

" What signal is that ? " asked the attendants one 
of another. And while they were puzzling their heads 
about it, the prince put spurs to his horse andgalloped 
away to the stranger on the top of the hill. The 
attendants rode after them, but their horses were tired 
with the racing, and the prince's horse was fresh. The 
last they saw of him was a cloud of dust far down 
the road. Prince Edward had gone to the Earl of 
Gloucester, who had remained faithful to the king. 

At Evesham Edward's forces and Simon de Mont- 
fort's met. The earl saw that the chances were 
against him, but he fought like the true knight that 
he was until his horse was killed under him, and then 
he fought on foot. The old king, seated on a great 
war horse, rode about, getting in everybody's way. He 
was nearly killed once, but he managed to cry out," I 
am Henry of Winchester," and Edward, who hap- 
pened to hear him, took his horse by the bridle and led 
him away out of danger. The Earl of Leicester was 
still fighting when he fell, sword in hand. The leader 
was gone, but the cause for which he had spent 
his blood lived on, for Prince Edward stood ready to 
carry on the good work which Simon de Montfort 
had begun. 



los 



EDWARD I, THE HAMMER OF THE SCOTS 

Edward I was far away from his kingdom when 
word was brought him that his father was dead and 
he was king of England. He had gone to the 
Holy Land on a crusade, the eighth and the last of 
the crusades. Like Richard the Lion-hearted, 
Edward was a valiant knight. When crossing the 
scorching sands of Asia, his ranks of soldiers grew 
thinner and thinner as the men died from fever and 
fatigue. His generals grew discouraged, and wished 
to go home. But Edward turned his face to the 
desert, and answered : " I will go on if I go with no 
other follower than my groom." Such a spirit 
aroused great fear in the hearts of the Turks, and 
they resolved to kill this prince. 

One of the Saracen nobles, pretending that he 
wished to become a Christian, sent a messenger to 
Edward bearing a letter. As Edward was reading 
the letter, the dark-faced slave stole nearer, drew a 
dagger from his flowing sleeve, and sprang at 
Edward's heart. But Edward was on the alert in 
a moment. His arm was strong and sure. He 
smote the slave to the ground, and killed him with 
the dagger. A moment later he noticed that his 
own arm had been scratched by the dagger. The 
wound began to swell, and Edward realized that the 



io6 

point of the dagger had been smeared with poison. 
The physician was called at once, and, thanks to his 
skill and the constant nursing of Eleanor, Edward's 
wife, the prince s life was saved. 

Soon after his recovery, word reached Kim pi his 
fathers illness, and Edward turned about to go 
home. In Italy he heard that his father had died, 
and he had been proclaimed king. , 

Edward's march across Europe was a march of 
triumph. The tales of his bravery in the Holy 
Land went before him, and everywhere he was 
entertained and given royal presents of purple robes 
and prancing horses. When he landed in Dover, 
England, and went on to Westminster, the greatest 
rejoicing of all took place. " For the coronation 
feast there were provided, among other eatables, 
four hundred oxen, four hundred sheep, four hun- 
dred and fifty pigs, eighteen wild boars, three hun- 
dred flitches of bacon, and twenty thousand fowls. 
The fountains ... in the streets flowed with red and 
white wine instead of water; the rich citizens hung 
silks and clothes of the brightest colors out of their 
windows to increase the beauty of the show, and 
threw out gold and silver by whole handfuls to 
make scrambles for the crowd. In short, there was 
such eating and drinking, such music and capering, 
such a ringing of bells and tossing up caps, such a 



I07 

shouting and singing and reveling as the narrow 
overhanging streets of London had not witnessed in 
many a day." 

King Edward I was a bold thinker. At the be- 
ginning of his reign he set his heart on being king 
of England, Scotland, and Wales. Wales is the 
mountainous country, lying west of England, where 
the Britons had taken refuge at the time of the 
Saxon Conquest. In Wales the people still spoke 
the old Briton language, and sang and harped the 
old Briton folk songs.- There was a tradition in the 
land that Merlin, the old enchanter, had prophesied 
that when money should be round, a Welsh prince 
would be crowned in London. Now one of 
Edward's early decrees was that the big English 
pennies should not be cut into halves and quarters, 
as had been done formerly, to make half and quarter 
pennies. So the Welsh believed that the day was 
near when Merlin's prophecy should come true. 

At this time Llewellyn was the Prince of Wales. 
It was his duty to swear allegiance to Edward. 
This Llewellyn refused to do. Just then it hap- 
pened that Eleanor de Montfort, the young lady to 
whom Llewellyn was betrothed, was returning from 
France. The English king ordered her to be de- 
tained until Llewellyn swore allegiance. That was 
how the quarrel began. It ended, as most quarrels 



io8 

did in those days, in bitter bloodshed. Llewellyn 
was killed, and his people subdued. His nobles 
came before Edward, promising to be faithful to him 
if he would give 
them as governor 
a prince born in 
their own land. 
Edward promised, 
and straightway 
brought into the 
room his little 
baby son, who had 
been born there 
in Wales in the 
Castle of Carnar- 
von a short time 
before. Later 
Edward's oldest 
son died, and this, 
the first prince of 
-.. r~ r, , „, , Wales, became 

The First Prince of Wales. 

the heir apparent 
to the throne. Ever since then the Crown Prince 
of England has borne the title of Prince of Wales. 

Now that the Welshmen had submitted to him, 
Edward turned his attention to the North. The 
king of Scotland, who had married Edward's sister, 



was dead. He had no children, so the throne fell 
to a Httle eight-year-old princess of Norway. King 
Edward proposed that the little Maid of Norway 
should become engaged to his eldest son. but as she 
was on her way to England she fell ill and died. 
Immediately thirteen different Scotsmen came for- 
ward claiming the Scottish throne. The task of 
deciding which one of these should be king of Scot- 
land was left to Edward. The English king de- 
cided upon John Baliol, but on the condition that he 
should receive his crown by the English king's 
favor. Then Edward caused the great seal of Scot- 
land to be broken in four 
pieces, and carried to the 
English treasury. He now 
considered that his kingdom 
stretched over England, 
Scotland, and Wales. 

To instil] it into Baliol's 
heart that he was England's 
vassal, although king of 
Scotland, Edward repeat- 
edly summoned him to ap- 
pear before him in London. Coronaiion chair. 
At length the Scottish people took this to be an 
insult. Baliol refused to come. With thirty thou- 
sand foot soldiers and four thousand horse, Edward 



marched into Scotland. The English king was 
victorious. When he went back to London he bore 
with him the Scottish throne and scepter, and the 
old stone corona- 
tion chair. For 
ages the Scottish 
kings had been 
crowned upon 
this stone, which 
was now placed 
in Westminster 
Abbey in London. 
Perhaps it was 
this very act that 
kept alive in the 
Scots the burn- 
ing desire to be 
free from Eng- 
land's overrule. 
They found a 

sir William Wallace. , , , , • 

noble and danng 

leader in Sir William Wallace, and the whole country 

was soon in arms. Edward was an old man, but he 

had resolved not to lose Scotland. He went to war 

borne on a litter. Just within sight of Scotland he 

died, at Burg-on-Sands. But even in dying his 

spirit was unquenchable. " Tell my son," he said, 



Ill 



" to bear my bones ahead of the army into Scot- 
land." 

His dying request was not granted. His body 
was carried back to Westminster Abbey where 
these words are engraved upon his plain gray 
marble monument: — 

" This is Edward the First, the hammer of the 
Scots — keep troth. " 



*»4o^ 



THE BLACK PRINCE 

For a hundred years England was at war. The 
war with Scotland led to a war with France, and 
two of the greatest battles in history were fought 
before England and France signed a treaty of 
peace. 

King Edward HI was England's monarch, who 
crossed the Channel and met the French at Crecy. * 
With him he took his son, Edward, who was called • 
the Black Prince because of the color of his armor. 

The morning of the battle the king and the prince 
heard mass with the army, and then the command 
was given for all to arm and prepare for battle. ' 
Edward, mounted on a small palfrey, with a white 
wand in his hand, rode down the long ranks of his 
soldiers, encouraging the fearful, and bidding them 



all to guard his honor and defend his right. Thus 

they waited for the French, with fresh courage in 

every English heart. 

As soon as the French forces came up, and 
the French 
king saw the 
English lined 
up on his 
ground, his 
blood began to 
boil. 

" Order the 
Genoese cross- 
bowmen for- 

j ward; and be- 

gin the battle 
in the name of 
God and St. 
Denis!" he 
cried to his 

The Black Prince at Crecy. 

marshals. 
A' terrible rain was falling, and the sun was 
eclipsed. Thunder and lightning broke through 
the storm. Just before the rain a flock of huge 
crows hovered over the battalions, cawing and 
shrieking. To the Frenchmen, weary from their 
long march, the storm seemed a prophecy of doom. 



113 

But the king had given the command, and they 
must advance. The storm broke, but the sun came 
out with dazzling brightness, shining in the French- 
men's eyes. With a shout, the Genoese went 
forward. The English remained motionless. A 
second shout came from the French, yet the Eng- 
lish never stirred. With the third shout, they 
began to shoot. Then the English battalion ad- 
vanced one step, drew their bows, and let fly their 
arrows. So thick and fast they fell that it seemed 
to the Genoese as if it snowed. They turned and 
retreated. But other French forces came up 
rapidly behind them, and the battle raged fiercely. 
The Black Prince was in -the very midst of the 
fray, and his men were falling on either side of him. 
King Edward was watching the battle on the hill 
near a windmill. Suddenly he saw a knight 
riding toward him at top speed. " Sir," he cried, 
saluting the king, "the Earl of Warwick and 
others who are about your son are vigorously attacked 
by the French, and they entreat that you should 
come to their assistance with your battalion, for if 
their numbers should increase they fear that he 
will have too much to do." 

The king did not move from his post " Is my son 
dead, unhorsed, or so badly wounded that he cannot 
support himself ? " he acked. 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — 8 



114 

" Nothing of the sort, thank God," replied the 
knight ; " but he is in so hot an engagement that he 
has great need of your help." . 

Still the king did not move. " Go back to those 
who sent you," he said quietly, " and tell them not 
to return again for me this day, or expect that I 
shall come. Let what will happen as long as my 
son has his life. And say that I command them to 
let the boy win his spurs ; for I am determined, if it 
please God, that all the glory and honor of this day 
shall be given to him and to those to whose care I 
have entrusted him." 

The knight rode back to the lords with the king's 
answer, which gave them such courage that they 
repented of having sent such a message. 

So the great roar and tumult of the battle w^ent on 
all day, until the French king had to flee ; and night 
brought victory to the English. Then they lighted 
their torches and built great fires that blazed up 
into the skies. And King Edward then came down 
from his post, and advanced with his whole battalion 
to meet the Prince of Wales. 

" Sweet son," he said as he embraced and kissed 
the Black Prince, " God give you good persever- 
ance. You are my son, for most loyally have you 
acquitted yourself this day. You are worthy to be 
a sovereign." 



115 

The prince bowed very low, and humbled himself, 
saying that all the honor belonged to his father. 
And the English feasted all night, and gave thanks 
to God for their great victory. 

The war lingered on through the years. Ten 
years after the battle of Crecy, the Black Prince 
won another great victory for his people. At 
Poitiers he met the king of France with his four 
sons, and all the flower of the French nobility. 
When the Prince of Wales saw the enemy drawn 
up before him, he addressed his own men with 
these words : " Now, my gallant fellows, what 
though we be a small body when compared to 
the army of our enemies? Do not let us be cast 
down on that account, for victory does not always 
follow numbers, but where Almighty God pleases 
to bestow it. If, through good fortune, the day 
shall be ours, we will gain the greatest glory in 
this world ; if the contrary should happen, and we 
be slain, I have a father and beloved brethren alive 
who will be sure to avenge our deaths. I therefore 
entreat you to combat manfully ; for if it shall please 
God and St. George, this day you shall see me a 
good knight." 

And with a cry, " Banners advance in the name 
of God and St. George," the English went forward 
into battle. 



The French leader. King John, was no less brave 
of heart than the Prince of Wales, but the English 
put the French to 
confusion. In the 
midst of his shat- 
tered ranks the 
French king stood 
his ground, fight- 
ing valiantly with 
his battle ax, 
and beside him 
stood his lair- 
haired son Philip, 
just sixteen years 
old. But finally 
an English knight 
rode up, and de- 
manded King John 

Surrender of King John. , 

to surrender, 

"I will surrender to the Prince of Wales," said' 
the French king, for he saw that he was hard pressed. 

" Surrender to me," replied the knight, " and I 
will lead you to the Prince of Wales." 

So King John and his son Philip were taken 
prisoners, and the battle of Poitiers came to end. 

That night the Prince of Wales gave a great 
feast to King John and all the royal prisoners. 



117 

The table was spread in the prince's tent, and the 
prince himself served at the table. At the end 
he pledged a toast to the king and said : — 

" Dear sir, do not make a poor meal because 
the Almighty God has not gratified your wishes 
in the event of this day; for be assured that my 
lord and father will show every honor and friend- 
ship in his power, and will arrange your ransom 
so reasonably that you will always remain friends. 



Tomb of the Black Prince. 



In my opinion, you have cause to be -glad that the 
success of this battle did not turn out as you de- 
sired; for you have this day acquired such high 



ii8 

renown for prowess that you have surpassed all 
the best knights on your side." 

At these words murmurs of praise went up on 
all sides, and the French said that the prince had 
spoken nobly and truly, and that he would be one 
of the most gallant princes in Christendom if God 
should give him life to pursue his career of glory. 

But although the Black Prince was a brilliant 
warrior, he was a heartless man. His health broke 
down when he was still young, and the pain he 
had to bear made him cruel and revengeful instead 
of gentle and courteous as became a knight. Yet 
when he died all England mourned for him. 



CHAUCER AND THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 

It was many years now since Caedmon had 
dreamed that he could sing, and had awakened to 
turn the beautiful old sacred stories into song. 
There had been other singers after him, minstrels 
and ballad writers, but the first great English poet 
was not born until the reign of Edward III. He 
would seem a queer-looking figure indeed, this first 
English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, if we should meet 
him on the streets to-day in his clerk's dress. 
A dark-colored hood was pulled lightly over his 



head, with a long tail to it, which indoors hung 
down his back, and out of doors was twisted lightly 
around his head to keep it from blowing off. His 
gray tunic, which was loose with big baggy sleeves. 



hung to his knees. His stockings were bright 
scarlet, and his boots black. He was rather shy in 
his manner, and, as he tells us himself, when he 
went along the London streets, he kept his eyes cast 
down upon the ground, " as if he would find a 
hair." 



I20 



It was a very different London from the noisy 
crowded city that we know to-day, else Chaucer 
could not have passed along the highways with 
drooping eyes. He called it a "dear and sweet 
city," and tells us how he loved to arise early and go 
out to see the daisies open and hear the morning 
songs of the birds. 

For many years Chaucer worked in the Custom 
House. He must have found it very dull work, 
bending over the great custom books all day long. 
But when night came, although his eyes were 
almost dazed and his back was aching as if it would 
break, still he turned to study and to books, and was 
"dumb as a stone" to all about him. He loved to 
read other people's stories long before he thought of 
writing them himself. 

One of Chaucer's best friends was John of Gaunt, 
a younger brother of the Black Prince. This friend- 
ship lasted throughout life, and as long as John of 
Gaunt was in power, Chaucer was well provided for. 
He was a prominent figure at the Court of Edward 
HI, and in later years was sent abroad by the king 
on many important embassies. He married, too, 
one of the court ladies, Philippa, a maid of honor to 
the queen. During these years Chaucer had plenty 
of money, and lived a happy, prosperous life. Later, 
when the king died and John of Gaunt fell into dis- 



121 



favor, Chaucer, too, was disgraced because he still 
remained true to his friend. He lost his position in 
the Custom House, and became very poor. Still his 
heart did not grow bitter, although he was treated 
very unjustly. It was during these hard years that 
he wrote his most famous poems, the " Canterbury 
Tales," which are full of pictures of a beautiful world, 
and of love and merriment. 

He begins these poems with a description of a 
lovely spring day, when April showers had pierced 
the heart of March and the little birds were making 
melody. He was resting at the Tabard Inn, ready 
to go on the next day on a pilgrimage to Canter- 
bury, the shrine of Thomas a Becket. At night- 
fall, the inn grew more and more full of guests, until 
there was great company in the hall, and the stables 
were full of horses. And Chaucer tells us how 
shortly after sunset he made friends with all the 
people and learned that they had met by chance and 
were all starting on the morrow on a pilgrimage like 
his own. They therefore agreed to all rise early and 
start together. Then the host at the inn, when he 
had given his guests a capital supper and had 
received the just reckoning from each one, stood up 
and commanded silence. " Well, my masters," said 
he, " I say that each of you shall tell the rest four 
stories — two on the way to Canterbury, and two on 



the way home. For you know that it is small fun 
riding alone dumb as a stone. And whichever in 
the party tells the best story shall have a supper at 
this inn at the cost of the rest when you come back. 
To assure you better, I will myself gladly join your 
party — and be at once guide and judge." 

So it was agreed, and the company started off the 
next morning in fine spirits. So vividly has 
Chaucer portrayed these Canterbury pilgrims that 
we could scarcely see them better if he had painted 
a picture of each one. There was a knight, a very 
perfect noble knight, who loved all chivalry, honor, 
truth, and courtesy. With him was his son, as squire, 
with locks all curled and fresh as the month of May. 
His heart was light, and he whistled and sang all 
day long as he rode. He had no attendant save one 



yeoman clad in coat and hood of green. There was 
also a nun, with eyes gray as glass and a little red 
mouth, who carried in her arms some little dogs 
which she often fed with roasted meat, milk, and the . 
finest bread. Then there was a jolly monk, whose 
horse's bridle jingled like a chapel bell as he rode 
along, and a friar, who carried with him a number of 
pretty pins and knives which he gave away as pres- 
ents to all the friends he made. A merchant with 
a forked beard was in the company, who sat high on 
his horse and wore a Flemish beaver hat, and also 
an Oxford student in threadbare coat, riding a horse 
as lean as a rake, because he spent all his money on 
books and learning. Then there was a franklin, 
with beard as white as daisies ; a haberdasher, a 
carpenter, a weaver, a dyer, a cook, a sailor, a doctor, 



124 

a good wife from Bath, a plowman, and a pardoner 
whose long yellow hair hung in shreds about his 
shoulders, and many others. It was a motley but 
gay company. 

At daybreak they all rode out together from the 
court of the inn into the glad spring day. They 
halted at the Watering of St. Thomas, and there 
drew lots to see who should tell the first tale. The 
lot fell to the knight, which delighted every one; 
and as the party set out again, he began his tale. 

Chaucer did not invent new stories for all of his 
Canterbury pilgrims, but he filled the old tales with 
so much life that they are as fresh and full of wit 
and humor, love and pathos, to us to-day, as they 
were to England five hundred years ago when the 
first great English poet first wrote them. 



-o-o5»:< 



MADCAP HARRY 

The desire that burned in the heart of Edward 
III was kindled afresh in Henry V, who reigned 
about forty years later. He wanted his kingdom 
to stretch across the sea and cover France. The 
wars with France had gone on so long now, that 
every English boy seemed to be born with a hatred 
for the French bovs across the Channel. It was 



125 

only necessary for an English prince to shout, 
" Forward in the name of St. George ! " to arouse 
the war spirit in their blood. The Black Prince 
had worn himself out in war, but now another 
prince was wearing the English crown, who was 
destined to be as great a hero in English eyes 
as the Black Prince. This prince was Henry of 
Monmouth, whom history has nicknamed " Mad- 
cap Harry." 

There was no great artist in those days to paint 
portraits of famous men and women, so it was cus- 
tomary for writers of history to give long descrip- 
tions of the personal appearance of the kings and 
queens. The biographer of Henry V tells us that 
this king "had an oval, handsome face with a broad, 
open forehead and straight nose, ruddy cheeks and 
lips, a deeply indented chin and small well formed 
ears ; his hair was brown and thick ; and his bright 
hazel eyes, gentle as a dove s when at rest, could 
gleam like a lion's when aroused to wrath. He re- 
joiced in all kinds of sports and exercise, had no 
equal in jumping, and was so swift of foot that with 
one or two chosen companions he would start the 
quickest buck from the woodlands and run it down 
in the open." 

And to this picture of Henry we must add that he 
was hot-headed, kind of heart, bold in thought and 



126 

deed, loving his people and beloved by them. As 
a prince he had been wild and fearless, and in this 
same spirit he led his army across the sea to win 
the French crown. The great and terrible battle 
of this war was fought in the autumn of 141 5. 
The two armies came together near the village of 
Maisoncelle at night. In Henry's ranks his dis- 
cipline was so strict that all through the night there 
was scarcely a whisper heard in the camp. The 
French even thought that the English had retreated 
in the rain and darkness. In the meantime in their 
camp there was turmoil and confusion, the shouting 
of orders, the din of tramping men and horses, and 
the shouting of the nobles who were feasting and 
drinking, sure of to-morrow's victory. 

At daybreak Henry was up and clad in his 
armor. He put on his head his helmet, blazing 
with its coronet of rubies, sapphires, and pearls; 
mounted a small gray horse, and gave the orders 
for the day. The army was drawn up four lines 
deep, wath the archers in front. Few of Henry's 
archers wore any armor. They were clad instead 
in their heavy doublets, with their hose tucked up 
and their feet bare that they might stand the more 
firmly. When all was in readiness, Henry asked 
the hour. 

" It is the first watch," they told him. 



" Good," replied the king. " For at this hour all 
England prayeth for us ; let us therefore be of good 
cheer." 

"And," writes Henry's chaplain, "so long as the 
battle lasted, I who write these words, sat upon my 
horse amid the baggage in the rear, and with all 
the other priests humbled my soul before God, say- 
ing in my heart : Be mindful of us, O Lord ! for 



Before the Bailie of Agincourt. 

our enemies are gathered together and boast them- 
selves in their strength. Break down their power, 
and scatter them, that they may know there is none 
other that fighteth for us but Thou, O God." 



128 

About a mile away stood the French, three times 
as strong. But Henry's courage never faltered. He 
rode down the lines, bidding his men be of good cheer, 
for they would have a fair day and a gracious victory. 
And the men caught his spirit, and answered, " Sire ! 
we pray God grant you a good life and victory over 
our enemies ! " 

The order to advance was given, and with a ringing 
cheer the Enghsh went forward. When they were 
within bowshot of the French, Henry commanded 
them to halt. The archers planted their stakes be- 
fore them in the ground, and with a cry, " Hurrah ! 
Hurrah ! St. George and Merry England ! " the battle 
began. In less than three hours the English had 
won the day. Then Henry called to him a French 
herald, and asked, " Tell me the name of yonder 
fortress which overlooks the field." 

" Agincourt," the herald replied. 

" Then," said Henry, "• this battle shall now and 
forever be called the Battle of Agincourt." 

News was sent that very night to England, and 
early the next morning the church bells throughout 
the country proclaimed the great victory. But there 
were many sad hearts in England, and many more in 
France, because of the brave soldiers who lay among 
the heaps of dead the day after that terrible battle. 

A month later Henry set sail for home. As the 



129 

fieet came Into Dover, the excited townspeople rushed 
down even into the sea to carry their king to the 
shore upon their 
shoulders. Never 
was there a greater 
triumphant march 
through England 
than Henry's 
march from Dover 
to Westminster. 
At Cornhill tower 
there was stretched 
a great canopy 
adorned with the 
banners of St. 
George, and under- 
neath stood a num- 
ber of men dressed 
as prophets in gold, 

, - , Henry and the French Herald, 

and purple robes. 

As the king came by, the prophets let loose a flock 
of little tame birds, which fluttered about the king 
and even perched on his shoulders. 

At Chepe Cross great arches spanned the streets, 
and through these archways came maidens dancing 
and striking timbrels, just as the women in the olden 
days had welcomed King David back to Jerusalem. 



130 

On either side stood white-robed boys to represent 
angels, who scattered wreaths of laurel as the king 
rode by. 

Dressed in his purple gown and surrounded by 
only a few personal friends, King Henry rode with a 
sober face through the festive town. He would not let 
any songs be sung in his praise, nor would he allow his 
" bruised helmet and his bended sword " to be borne 
before him as the nobles wished. 

" The glory and honor is due alone to God," he said, 
as he dismounted and went into St. Paul's, where 
a Te Deum was sung for his victory. 

Still the troubles with France continued for five 
years, until a treaty of peace was signed, and it was 
agreed that Henry should marry the French king's 
daughter, Catherine, and when the French king died, 
he should be king of France. 

There was great rejoicing when Henry brought his 
French queen home, for it looked now as if Henry's 
ambition would be accomplished. But two years 
later he died, when he was only thirty-four. He was 
buried in Westminster Abbey, and for over a hun- 
dred years tapers were kept burning about his 
tomb. 



131 



WAT TYLER AND THE PEASANT REVOLT 

The long, long wars with France were draining 
England of many of her best men. Suddenly an- 
other enemy came upon the land. It was an enemy 
even more terrible than war. It swept across the 
land through city and village alike. Everywhere, 
where people were living in dark houses, in dirty 
streets, in unhealthy homes, this new enemy entered. 

The Black Death was the name given to this 
plague. The first time it visited England over half 
the people died of it. In some villages scarcely 
enough men were left living to bury the dead. On 
many farms there were not left enough men to 
reap the autumn harvest. The few remaining 
laborers, or villains, as they were called, saw that this 
was a good time to demand higher wages. This 
angered some of the nobles so greatly that they let 
their crops rot in the ground rather than pay the 
wages tliat the men asked. Finally they appealed 
to Parliament to help them. 

The result was that Parliament passed laws re- 
quiring the laborers to work at the old rate of wages 
and forbidding them to leave the land upon which 
they were born. Any villain who was found running 
away was to be branded with a red-hot iron on his 
forehead. A little later a poll tax was levied on 



132 

I 

every person in the land over fifteen years of age. 
This tax was to help pay for the war with France. 
It was only fourteen pence, but the villains' wages 
were so low that it often took them many days to 
save money enough to pay it. 

The faces of the laborers grew dark and sullen. 
As they walked home together across the fields at 
night, they talked in low tones of the unjust nobles 
and the unjust king. They saw the rich landlords 
in their castles dressed in beautiful, soft silks and 
satins. They themselves wore coarse woolen tunics 
belted in at the waist with rope. They came into 
their homes, which were low, dirty, and filled with bad 
air. Silently they ate their evening meal of bacon, 
cabbage, and home-brewed beer. There was no light 
in the room save from the burning rushes on the 
hearth. Here the family gathered. They had no 
books to read. They could only sit there, thinking 
of their aching backs, of the taxes to be paid, and 
their few scant pennies saved up for the winter's 
food. Finally, tired out, they threw themselves on 
their straw pallets to sleep heavily until daybreak. 

One day Wat Tyler, one of these laborers, was 
mending a roof, when he heard the loud outcry of 
his daughter at home near by. Running down the 
ladder, he found that the tax collector was at his 
house, and had insulted the girl. Scarcely realizing 



133 

how strong his arm was, Wat struck the collector a 
blow that killed him on the spot. A crowd soon 
gathered about the house, and these laborers were 
only too ready to take Wat Tyler's part. Still hot 
with anger, the roof-mender begged them to go to 
London with him and demand relief for the many 
wrongs they were suffering. 

Headed by Tyler, the little band started afoot for 
London. Long before it reached there it had grown 
to be one hundred thousand strong. With them, too, 
marched John Ball, a poor priest who knew how to 
put into glowing words the feelings that were burn- 
ing in the laborers' hearts. As they were nearing 
London he gathered the crowd about him in a church- 
yard. " Good people," he cried, " why do the great 
folk hold us in slavery if we are all children of the 
same father and mother, Adam and Eve? They 
dress in velvets, but we must go in rags. They have 
wine and spices and fair white bread upon their tables, 
while we have oatcake, and straw beds, and water to 
drink. They have leisure and fine houses ; we have 
pain and labor, the rain and the wind in the fields. 
When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then 
the gentleman ? " 

With renewed courage the army of villains pressed 
on to London, and for three weeks held possession 
of the city. They ransacked the homes of the 



134 

wealthy, and destroyed all the silver and gold that 
they could find. Finally the king agreed to meet 
them. King Richard was only sixteen, and his heart 
was fearless. 

" What will you, good people ? " he asked bravely 



Death of Wat Tyler. 

in the face of the mob. " I am your king and lord. 
What will you ? " 

" We will that you free us forever," the mob 
shouted like one man; " and that we be never more 
named or held as serfs." 

" I grant it," the king replied. 

The crowd broke up, and many went home. 



135 

Thirty thousand remained to see that the king kept 
his word. The next morning, when the king was 
talking with Tyler, some hot words passed between 
them. Tyler raised his arm, and the Mayor of Lon- 
don, fearing that he was about to strike the king, 
drew his sword and slew the laborer. It was a mo- 
ment of great peril, but the king did not lose his 
head. Wheeling his horse about, he shouted to the 
mob, "Follow me, I am your captain and your king." 
The people trusted him, and soon after this re- 
turned to their homes. But King Richard's promises 
were not kept. There was no law in England that 
gave him power to make such promises. Parliament 
continued her unjust taxes. But the barons had seen 
once for all the strength of the villains when once 
aroused. They were too afraid of another revolt to 
press their tenants more than necessary. Then, too, 
there were other forces at work in the land that 
were to lessen the power that the barons had held 
ever since the days of William the Conqueror. 



THE LAST OF THE BARONS 

There is an old legend of a French king whose 
life was made miserable because of his quarrelsome 
nobles. These lords and barons were always fight- 



136 

ing one another and then coming to the king for 
him to settle the dispute. Finally in despair the 
king shut all the nobles of the land up in one room, 
and locked the doors. An hour later, when he 
opened the room, he found that all the nobles were 
either dead or so weak with wounds that they were 
glad to go meekly home and hang their weapons on 
their castle walls. 

Much the same thing happened in England when 
the barons came home after the long wars with 
France. These barons came back from France 
with hearts grown hard, cruel, and merciless. Many 
of them came home rich with plunder. It is said 
that the Earl of Warwick was so rich that he fed 
thirty thousand daily at his castles. Six huge oxen 
were killed every day for the breakfast of his re- 
tainers. He boasted that no man ever went hungry 
from his door, and that soldiers could enter his 
kitchen at afiy hour and carry off as large pieces of 
meat as they could pick up on their daggers. 

The barons had not been home two years before 
they began to fight one another. The story reads 
that two of them, Warwick and Somerset, were 
walking together in the temple gardens, each one 
attended by a large court of followers. A dispute 
arose as to whether a prince of the House of Lan- 
caster, or a prince of the House of York, should be 



137 

the next king of England. Each house was of 
royal blood, and could lay claims to the throne. 
The words between Somerset and Warwick became 
hotter and hotter. Finally Warwick turned about, 
plucked a white rose from a bush near by, and. 



In the Temple Gardens. 

Sticking it into his buttonhole, bade all true and loyal 
followers of the House of York do likewise. There- 
upon Somerset seized a rose of flaming red, and 
shouted that this should be the emblem of the House 
of Lancaster. It would have been well if King 
Henry had been strong enough to imprison all 
these angry nobles in one great room zind let them 
fight one another, as the legends said the old French 



138 

king did. Then the farmers who wished to plow 
and sow their land, and the traders in the city who 
wished to work at their honest business, could have 
gone peacefully about their work. For these good 
people had no interest in this " War of the Roses " 
which for thirty years the barons waged in England. 
But King Henry VI was not a strong man, and he 
was not a fighter. He had been made king when 
only a boy of seven, and while he was still a child, 
had often been called to settle the quarrels between 
his barons. The strain proved too great for him. 
Shortly before the War of the Roses broke out, he 
became insane. There was, therefore, no strong 
hand to hold the barons in check. All England 
lay at their mercy. 

The story of this war is very long and very unin- 
teresting. One year the White Rose was victorious ; 
the next year found the Red Rose in power. It is a 
story of many cruel deeds, that we are glad to forget 
as soon as we can. Many a baron lost his life. 
Somerset was slain in battle at the beginning of the 
war; and Warwick in the battle of Barnet, near 
the close. He had been called the " Last of the 
Barons," because he was the last baron who was 
strong enough to dictate to the king. 

The War of the Roses came to an end on the 
battlefield of Bosworth. The two leaders in this 



139 

battle were Henry Tudor, the head of the Lancas- 
trians, and Richard III, the last of the three York 
kings. The night before 
the battle Richard III was 
tormented by bad dreams. 
He believed this to be an 
evil omen. The next morn- 
ing his commander-in-chief 
deserted him. Neverthe- 
less, Richard, with no sign 
of fear, mounted his horse 
and rode bravely into battle. 
He died fighting. His 
crown, which he had worn 
into battle, was found by 

the Lancastrian soldiers under a holly bush. They 
brought it to their leader, and there on the field 
crowned him Henry VII of England. Thus the war 
closed with a triumph for the House of Lancaster. 
Soon afterwards Henry married a princess of the 
House of York, and thus the two parties were at last 
peacefully united. ' 



140 



WILLIAM CAXTON 



England's first printer 



It is hard to believe that the fifteenth century 
dawned before the first book was printed in England. 
The bards had told over and over the old lays of Beo- 
wulf; Caedmon had sung his verses of the Creation; 
Chaucer had written his merry " Canterbury Tales," 
but no book had yet been printed in England. In the 
great palaces and homes of the wealthy there were 
books, and very beautiful ones, but they had all been 
written by hand, — the painstaking task of some 
monk who had spent years over his work. They 
were written on heavy parchment, and many of them 
had pages decorated with colored borders of birds 
and flowers. But these books were so costly that 
few besides kings and princes could have libraries 
in those days. Probably no little child in England 
at that time owned a book. 

The man who printed the first book in England 
was William Caxton. He was born in the woody 
county of Kent early in the fifteenth century. In 
one of his books he wrote, " I was born and learned 
my English in Kent, where I doubt not is spoken as 
broad and rude English as is in any place in Eng- 
land." In these days the English language was made 
up of many different dialects. The people in the 



141 

South spoke so differently from the people in the 
North that they could scarcely understand each other. 
Later, when printed books could be bought by rich 
and poor, the people in the North and the South, the 
East and the West, began gradually to understand and 
speak the same tongue. Then the English language 
came to be the language that we speak to-day. 

In Kent, Caxton's early home, as he writes, the 
people spoke a rude tongue. There were many Flem- 
ish settlers there, and their language became mixed 
with the Kentish English. Caxton himself tells 
about a party of merchants who were delayed on the 
Kentish coast, and came to a little cottage to buy 
some eggs. The good wife, who opened the door, 
shook her head, and replied that she knew no French. 
Then the merchant was angry, for he spoke no French 
either but was a stanch-hearted Englishman. " Eggs," 
" Eggs," he kept repeating, but she could not under- 
stand. Then at length, one of his company said 
" Eyren," which is the word for " eggs " in the old 
Kentish dialect, and the good wife hastened to fetch 
him a basket full. 

When Caxton was quite a young man he was sent 
on business to Bruges, where he lived for thirty-five 
years. This now sleepy old town was then a flour- 
ishing city. There were many young men there 
who were interested in the making of books, and we 



142 

soon find Caxton at work evenings translating a 
French book. In his prologue to this book, Caxton 
writes in his quaint English, " When I remember 
that every man is bound by the commandment and 
counsel of the wise men to avoid sloth and idle- 
ness, . . . then I, having no great charge of occupa- 
tion, followed the said counsel, took a French book 
and read therein many strange and marvellous stories 
wherein I had great pleasure and delight. . . . And 
for so much this book was new and lately made and 
drawn into French, and never had been seen in our 
English tongue, I thought in myself it would be a good 
business to translate it into our English to the end that 
it might be had as well in England as in other lands, 
and also for to pass away my time, and thus concluded 
in myself to begin this work." 

Caxton, however, grew weary of his task before he 
had half finished the translation. He had given it 
up, when the Duchess of Burgundy saw his work and 
commanded him to finish it. When it was once 
completed, other nobles saw it, and wanted Caxton 
to make copies for them. Caxton found himself over- 
burdened with the tedious task of copying his trans- 
lation by hand. He began to look into this new art of 
printing which had been invented in Germany. But 
he tells us the story in his own words in a prologue 
to the first printed copy of the " History of Troy." 



"And for as much as in the writing of the same 
my pen is worn, my hands weary and not steadfast, 
my eyes dim with over much looking on the white 
paper, and my courage not so prone and ready to 



Canton and the First Printing Press in England. 

labor as it hath been, and that age creepeth on me 
daily and feebleth all the body, and also because I 
have promised todiverse gentlemen and to my friends 
to address them as hastily as I might this said 



144 

book, therefore I have practiced and learned at my 
great expense to ordain this said book in print after 
the manner and form as ye may here see and is not 
written with pen and ink as other books be." 

This was the first book ever printed in the Eng- 
lish language. The next year Caxton translated and 
printed another book, " The Game and Play of Chess." 
Then he returned to England, bringing his printing 
press with him and settling in Westminster, London. 
Just where he lived and how long we do not know ; 
but his life must have been a busy one, for we know 
of twenty-one translations that he made, and about 
seventy books that he printed. 

In order that it might be known what books were 
printed by him, Caxton made a device or trade mark 
which he stamped in all his books. It is hard to 
make out just what Caxton meant by his device. 
We can easily see the " W " and the " C " which 
stand for his name, and it is supposed that the two 
figures between these letters are a fantastic "74." 
That is, his device meant, "William Caxton printed 
the first English book in 1474." 

Many fragments of Caxton's books can be seen 
to-day in the British Museum and elsewhere, where 
they are guarded as the greatest treasures. And in 
1877, the four hundredth anniversary of the printing 
of the first English book in England, a great festival 



I4S 

was held in St. Paul's Cathedral to honor William 
Caxton, England's first printer. 



>:•«< 



BLUFF KING HAL 

Henry VII, who was crowned on the battlefield 
of Bosworth, was the first of the Tudors, who now 
for over one hundred years sat on the throne of 
England. The most famous of the Tudor kings 
was Henry VIII; the most famous of the queens 
was Elizabeth. Henry VIII. was crowned when 
he was eighteen years of age. 

His father, Henry VII, had left the royal treasury 
full, and Henry's greatest delight was in spending 
this money to surround himself with every pomp 
and glory of which he could dream. It was said 
that he was very handsome, but he must have had a 
hard and cruel look in his eyes, for no man ever 
thought more of his own pleasure and less of that 
of others than did Henry VIII. At first his people 
did not realize this. They were proud because he 
could ride a horse well, proud that he could speak 
good French, Latin, and Spanish, and proud of his 
red beard, which they said shone like gold, and was 
far handsomer than the beard of the king of France. 

The English people would have discovered much 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — lO 



146 



Henry VUI and Wolsey. 



sooner than they did how little real interest Henry 
VIII had in their welfare if it had not been for 
Cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey was the son of a well- 



M7 

todo Ipswich butcher, but as he was very clever, he 
worked his way up from being tutor in a noble 
family to the position of Archbishop of York. 
Later the Pope made him cardinal, and Henry VIII 
appointed him chancellor of the realm. He was a 
gay companion for the king, fond of the show and 
glitter that Henry VIII loved. He was a great 
statesman as well, and Henry, knowing this, gave 
him almost unlimited power in ruling England. 
These were days when Europe was the seat of con- 
tinual warfare, and Spain, France, and Germany 
were all seeking England's aid. The king easily 
saw that no other man was so diplomatic in arrang- 
ing foreign affairs as Wolsey. So he heaped favor 
upon favor upon him, until finally Wolsey was liv- 
ing in greater state than the king himself. His 
palaces were as splendid as Henry's. He had a 
retinue of eight hundred. He held his court 
dressed from head to foot in flaming scarlet, with 
golden shoes set with precious gems. When he 
went out in state his followers rode on thorough- 
bred horses, but the cardinal, pretending to be very 
humble, ambled along in the midst of them on a 
mule with red velvet saddle and bridle and stirrups 

of gold. 

The early part of Henry the Eighth's reign was 
full of trouble with France. Finally, to bring about 



148 

peace, the stately cardinal arranged that the two 
sovereigns, Henry VIII and Francis I, should have 
a personal meeting in France on English ground. 
The place selected for the meeting was Guisney, a 



The Field of Ihe ClotK of Cold. 

barren plain which had been changed into a fairy- 
land of beauty in honor of the great event which 
was to take place there. Three hundred white 
tents were stretched across the vast field, and in 
their midst arose a gorgeous, gilded palace. Its 
walls were hung with soft-colored tapestries, its 
ceilings were embossed with roses, and in the court- 
yards great fountains spouted red with sparkling 



149 

wine. So lavishly was money spent that the spot 
has become known in history as The Field of the 
Cloth of Gold. Here Francis I and Henry Vlll 
came with their vast retinues. The whole affair 
was planned with great state. At exactly the same 
time Henry and Francis issued forth from their 
camps on opposite hillslopes. In front of the Eng- 
lish retinue rode the Marquis of Dorset, bearing 
aloft the sword of state before the king. Then fol- 
lowed Henry, robed in silver damask thickly ribbed 
with gold. He was mounted on a splendid charger, 
whose trappings, no less brilliant, shone and glis- 
tened in the sun. Behind followed the cardinal, 
the dukes and lords and nobles, gorgeously arrayed. 
As a shot proclaimed that Henry VHI was about 
to advance, a responding shot heralded the ap- 
proach of Francis from the opposite hill. 

The French king wore a mantle of cloth of gold 
covered with jewels. Diamonds, red-hearted rubies, 
rich green emeralds, and pearls studded the front 
and sleeves. On his head was a velvet bonnet 
adorned with floating plumes and precious stones. 
Far in advance of him rode the provost marshal 
with his archers. Then came the marshals and the 
princes of the blood, followed by the Swiss guard 
on foot in new liveries, with their drums, flutes, 
trumpets, and clarions. Directly in front of the 



ISO 

king was the grand constable, carrying a naked 
sword, and the grand ecuyer with the sword of 
France. 

The two companies advanced slowly and in state 
toward the valley. Suddenly there was a moment's 
pause on each side. A stir ran through both ranks. 
Then from out the maze of floating plumes and 
dazzling colors, while the trumpets blared and the 
drums beat, rode forth from the English and from 
the French company each a single horseman. They 
rode slowly down from the opposing hills, but the 
moment they reached the valley they put spurs to 
their chargers. The horses set out on a gallop 
across the field. They met beneath a richly hung 
pavilion, where the two horsemen embraced and 
dismounted. It was the King of England and 
the King of France. 

For three days the two monarchs lingered on the 
Field of the Cloth of Gold, holding tournaments 
and feasts and pledging everlasting friendship. 
But no sooner had Henry VIII returned home 
than he was making the same promises with the 
Emperor of Germany, Francis's bitterest enemy; 
and both sovereigns soon learned how little they 
could trust him. 

There was another man, too, who was going to 
suffer froni the faithlessness of the king. This, was 



151 

the great cardinal. The king was growing tired 
of his wife, Catherine, who was quiet and serious. 
He had fallen in love with a gay and pretty court 
lady, Anne Boleyn, and he wished to make her his 
queen. To do this it was necessary to divorce 
Catherine. Thie king held council with Wolsey, 
and the cardinal advised him to appeal to the 
Pope. The Pope refused his request. Henry 
Vni spent his anger now in disgracing Wolsey. 
He forgot in a single moment of temper the years 
of work that WolsQy had given for the upbuilding 
of England's power. He took from him the great 
seal, and banished him to his home at Esher. The 
great statesman was* heartbroken. On his way to 
Esher the king sent him a present of a ring, and 
for an instant he hoped to win back the royal favor. 
He looked about him for a gift suitable to return to 
the king. At first he saw nothing; then his eye fell 
upon a jester among his servants whose merry witj 
Wolsey said, was worth a thousand pounds. He 
ordered the jester to be sent to the king, but the 
"poor fool took on so, and fired up in such a rage 
when he saw that he needs must depart from my 
lord," that Wolsey had to send six sturdy yeomen 
to bring him to the royal palace. 

Besides his offices Wolsey lost all his friends. 
The jealous nobles were only too glad to see him 



152 

banished. They persuaded Henry to disgrace him 
still more. Finally he was arrested for high trea- 
son, and summoned to England. The old man set 
out, broken in spirit and body. Only his servants 
and the poor country people remained loyal to him. 
They stood in crowds at the gate, weeping as he 
passed through, and crying, " God save your Grace !" 



Wolsey at Leicester Abbey. 

Wolsey never reached London. At Leicester Abbey 
he was obliged to stop, and he was so weak that they 
had to lift him from his mule. 

" I am come hither to lay my bones among you," 



153 

he said, and in two days his words had become true. 
As he lay there dying, he turned to the monks and 
said, " If I had served God as diligently as I have 
done the king, he would not have given me over in 
my gray hairs/* 



QUEEN ELIZABETH 

On the loth of September, 1533, the bell on the 
Friars' Church proclaimed that some great event was 
to take place within its walls. The gray front of the 
church was hung with colored banners and tapestries, 
and green rushes were strewn from the church doors 
to the palace of the king. Within waited the mayor 
in his magnificent gown of crimson, and all the alder- 
men dressed in scarlet with chains of gold about their 
necks. Forty of the chief citizens were there too, 
and the entire council of the city. They were gath- 
ered about a silver font set in the midst of the church 
under a gorgeous red canopy hung with golden fringe. 
When all was ready, a side door opened, and the old 
Duchess of Norfolk issued forth, bearing in her arms 
a wee baby, who was all but hidden in a purple 
mantle lined with ermine, so long that a court lady 
had to carry the train. No less a person than the 
Bishop of London. stood waiting at the door, and all 
the great men of the realm followed behind this little 



child. Very solemnly was the service read, and the 
christening performed, and then the king-of-arms 
stepped forward and cried: "God of his infinite good- 
ness send prosperous life and long life to the high 



and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth." For 
this was the christening of the little daughter of 
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Then the great 
trumpet blew, and the godfathers and godmothers 
brought forward their presents of gold and silver 
cups, and then the wee princess was hurried home 



155 

as fast as could be, and put back to sleep again in her 
royal cradle. 

It was twenty-five years later that the princess 
Elizabeth became queen of England. On that day 
every bell in England was rung; great bonfires blazed 
high into the sky on every street corner ; and tables 
were brought out on to the street where all might eat 
and drink and cry, " Long Live Good Queen Bess ! " 

The queen herself was at Hatfield, but she made 
ready at once to start for London to be crowned. 
The city, too, made all haste to receive her with the 
greatest pomp and ceremony. On the 14th of 
January, 1558, Elizabeth passed from the Tower to 
Westminster, surrounded by all the barons and 
noblemen of the realm. " And to all that wished 
her Grace well she gave hearty thanks, and to such 
as bade God save her Grace she said again God 
save them all, and thanked them with all her heart ; 
so that on either side there was nothing but glad- 
ness, nothing but prayer, nothing but comfort." 

As the procession came to Fan Church, the queen 
saw that a huge scaffolding had been erected over 
the street, and that a little child in costly gown 
stood upon it. She bade her chariot stop, and all 
to be still while the little child bowed low before the 
queen and recited a long poem in her honor. It 
ended with this quaint verse : — 



156 

" Welcome, therefore, O Queen, as much as heart can think ; 
Welcome again, O Queen, as much as tongue can tell ; 
Welcome to joyous tongues and hearts that will not shrink ; 
God thee preserve we pray, and wish thee ever well." 

As the child ended, the people gave a great shout, 
and the queen thanked the child and the city for 
their gentle welcoming. 

Then the procession moved on once more, and 
all along the way there were crowds of people in 
holiday dress, and at every corner there were won- 
derful tableaux and pageants arranged for the 
queen's pleasure, and at last the queen was pre- 
sented with a purse of gold so heavy that it took 
both her hands to lift it. Then she stood up in 
her chariot, and great stillness fell upon the crowd, 
for they knew that the queen was going to speak. 

" I thank my Lord Mayor," she said, " his brethren, 
and you all. And whereas your request is that I 
should continue your good lady and queen, be ye 
assured that I will be as good unto you as ever 
queen was to her people. No will in me can lack, 
neither do I trust shall there lack any power. And 
persuade yourselves, that for the safety and quiet- 
ness of you all I will not spare, if need be, my 
blood. God thank you all.** 

The next day the queen was crowned. While 
she was sitting at dinner in the great hall at West- 



157 

minster, a knight, in full armor, riding a beautiful 
charger, rode into the hall, and casting down his 
gauntlet at her feet, offered to fight any knight or 
noble who should deny that she was England's 
right and lawful queen. And Elizabeth took a cup 
of solid gold, and, filling it with costly wine, sent it 
to him as his fee. Thus the feast closed, and the 
queen went in state to the church. 

Kneeling before the high altar, with a red silken 
mantle thrown about her, Elizabeth^ was anointed 
and crowned queen of England. A sword was 
hung at her side and the crown set upon her head 
while the trumpets sounded ; a ring placed on her 
finger and the scepter in her hand. Then the 
lords came and knelt before her Grace, and kissed 
her, and all the bishops did the same. 

And the next day great tournaments were held to 
honor the coronation. 

Throughout her reign this same splendor was 
kept up at Elizabeth's court. The noblemen 
dressed in the most gorgeous, bright-colored satins 
and velvets, and the queen is said to have left no 
less than three thousand beautiful gowns in her 
wardrobe when she died. The queen, too, was very 
fond of compliments and flattery, and always kept 
at her court some of the handsomest young lords of 
the kingdom to pay her homage. Among these 



IS8 

favorites was the Earl of Leicester, whom the queen 
treated with such marked favor that many believed 
that she would some day marry him. She even 
went in great state to his beautiful castle at Kenil- 



Ruins of Kenilworth Caslle. 

worth, where the earl spent a large fortune in 
entertaining his royal guest. But Elizabeth never 
married. She was known as the virgin queen, and 
Sir Walter Raleigh, another young favorite, named 
the colony which he founded in the New World 
Virginia in her honor. Raleigh's bold and brave 
deeds, his witty tongue, and handsome blue eyes 
won him favor at court, and for years Elizabeth held 
him as her trusted knight. When, however, he fell 
in love with one of her court ladies and married 



i6o 

her, Elizafbeth sent him away in disgrace, and even 
imprisoned him six months in the Tower. 

But Elizabeth's time was not all spent on her own 
pleasure. One reason why she never married was 
because she wanted to rule over her kingdom 
herself. England was poor when she came to the 
throne, and war with Europe was brewing. Eliza- 
beth had the prosperity of the land at heart. She 
gave orders herself that manufactures and commerce 
should be encouraged. She kept repeating to the 
nobles, " No war, my lords, no war," and she made 
them heed her. In the meantime while England 
was at peace, she built up her navy and drilled her 
armies so that if war had to come, England would 
be able to defend herself. A new era had begun 
in England, which has become famous as the age 
of Elizabeth. 



THE SPANISH ARMADA 

Besides her own noblemen there were princes of 
royal blood who came seeking Elizabeth's hand. One 
of the first was Philip II of Spain, a most ambitious 
prince. When Elizabeth refused his offer of mar- 
riage, Philip became at once her rival, and afterwards 
her open enemy. Whenever the English and Spanish 
met, were it in trading in the Netherlands, sailing 



on the High Seas, or founding colonies in the New 
World, quarreling and often bloodshed followed. 

Among English seamen, no one carried a deeper 
hatred for Spain in his heart than Sir Francis Drake, 
who was one of the bravest adventurers of Eliza- 
beth's reign. He 
was born on an old 
ship moored ofT 
Chatham Bay, and 
grew up with a 
love of the sea- 
He went to sea 
first on a small 
vessel that traded 
with Holland, and 
it was while he 
was in Holland 

that he saw with his own eyes how cruelly the 
Spanish king treated his Dutch subjects. After- 
wards, he himself was treacherously dealt with 
by the Spaniards, He was driven by storm into 
the Gulf of Mexico, where the Spanish colonists 
invited them to land and refit their vessels. Then, 
suddenly, without any warning, the Spanish attacked 
them, and they lost half of their ships. Drake in 
righteous indignation swore that henceforth Spain 
should receive no mercy from his hand. 



1 62 

Drake had many adventures. He was one of the 
first English navigators to sail round the world, and 
as a reward for his brave spirit was knighted by the 
queen. But his greatest triumph was when he 
" singed the King of Spain's beard." 

Philip II had long been gathering and equipping 
a great fleet, with which- he hoped some day to 
conquer England. This was the dream of his 
heart. When Drake heard about it, he sailed 
quietly out of Plymouth harbor, with twenty-eight 
vessels in his wake. With a boldness that made his 
officers mad, he sailed his fleet around the Spanish 
coast, straight for the Bay of Cadiz, where Philip s 
largest ships lay at anchor. The sun was just 
sinking below the horizon when the English ships 
entered the harbor, Drake s vessel, the Dragon, at 
their head. Before the Spanish realized what had 
happened, some of their finest ships had been sunk, 
others had been plundered, and Drake was setting 
sail for home. Philips fleet would not conquer 
England that year. Drake had singed his beard. 

But twelve months later a small English vessel 
came running against the wind into Plymouth har- 
bor, bringing the exciting news that the Invincible 
Spanish Armada, as Philip called his fleet, had 
been seen off the Cornish coast. Beacon fires of 
warning were lighted all along the English shore. 



1^3 

The warning flew to London. Swift messengers 
galloped behind, bringing the latest news. The 
queen herself, mounted on a white horse, rode 
among her troops. Her ministers begged her not 
to expose herself to danger but her answer was 
made to her troops. " Let tyrants fear," she said. 
" I have always so behaved myself that, under God, 
I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard 
in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects 
and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, 
resolved in the midst and the heart of battle, to 
live or die amongst you all. I know that I have 
the body of' a weak and feeble woman, but I have 
the heart of a king, and of a king of England too." 

England had only thirty-six ships in her navy to 
respond to the queens call, but every sea rover, 
every merchant, and many private gentlemen own- 
ing ships, hastened to England's defense. 

In the meantime the Armada was coming on. 
The English saw it approaching, one hundred and 
thirty-two vessels in all, sailing along in the form 
of a half moon, seven miles from horn to horn. 
These huge galleons arose like white castles out 
of the blue sea. They came on slowly, although 
their sails were full, "the winds being as it were 
weary with w^afting them, and the ocean groaning 
under their weight." 



164 

The Spanish, knowing their strength, wished to 
meet the English, but the English got out of their 
way, and let the " Invincible Armada " pass un- 
harmed up the Channel. At last the Spanish ships 
dropped anchor off Calais. For a day they rode 
there, undaunted in their strength. But at midnight 
eight huge English ships came sailing toward them 
through the darkness. The night was black, but 
the ships were blacker still. They were bound each 
to each, and every spar, mast, and hull was smeared 
with tar. At a given signal a line of fire ran across 
the bow of one. Before the Spanish could believe 
their eyes, the darkness had become as day, for eight 
blazing ships were drifting with wind and tide into 
their midst. Their flames seemed to leap into the 
heavens. In the uttermost confusion, the Spanish cut 
their cables and put out to sea, each vessel for itself. 

In the morning the English were ready, and fell 
upon the disorderly Armada. . For two days Drake 
and Howard chased the Spanish vessels. Then 
their powder gave out, and their shot failed. But 
a tempest arose that played even greater havoc 
with the fleet. It drove the vessels against the 
rock-bound coasts, wrecking thirty valiant ships. 
When Philip heard the news, he did not change 
the expression of his face. " I sent the Armada, 
he said, ** against man, not against the billows." 



91 



166 

England, too, realized that her strength had been 
in the storm, as well as in the loyal hearts of Drake, 
Howard, and Raleigh, who had defended her so 
bravely, for a great medal was struck in honor of 
the victory, and it bore these words : " God blew, 
and they were scattered." 



SPENSER AND THE FAERIE QUEEN 

For many long years England had no singer. 
The singing spirit that had awakened in Caedmon, 
and later in Chaucer, seemed to have fallen into a 
deep sleep. It seemed as if poets and poetry be- 
longed only to the past. But then, suddenly, in the 
reign of Elizabeth, Edmund Spenser was born. 

He grew up unnoticed, hardly knowing himself 
thiat he was a poet. It is in one of his own poems 
thiat he tells us how the world first came to know of 
his songs. He was born in England, but had gone 
over to Ireland as a young man, and there he was 
living in his castle Kilcolman, when Sir Walter 
Raleigh, sent on a commission by the queen, found 
him. There, beneath the shade of "Old Father 
Mole," as he called the great, gray mountain, and 
close by the " Shiny Mulla River," Spenser was liv- 
ing, piping on his reed like a poor shepherd. Sir 



i67 

Walter Raleigh was somewhat of a poet himself, 
and the two men soon felt that they were akin. 
Spenser forgot his shyness, and read to his guest 
three books of verses, which he called " The' Faerie 
Queen," and Raleigh in return recited some verses 



Spenser and Sir Waller Raleigh. 

that he had written about the great and noble Queen 
Elizabeth. So each played a merry tune upon the 
shepherd's pipe. Then Sir Walter took his new- 
found friend by the hand, and bade him come back 
with him to England. He told him that no songs 
like his had been heard in England for many a year, 
and how gladly the queen, who loved books and 
men who could write them, would welcome him. 



1 68 

So Spenser went forth from his lonely castle to 
the dazzling court of Elizabeth. Sir Walter Raleigh 
had spoken truly. The queen smiled upon him, and 
all England read with delight his " Faerie Queen." 

In a letter to Sir Walter Raleigh, Spenser tells 
him what he planned to do in this great book of 
poetry. The hero of the poem is to be Prince 
Arthur, a knight perfect in every virtue. There 
are to be twelve books, one for each of the twelve 
virtues, and each virtue is pictured by its own knight. 
In the last book the knight perfect in all virtues is 
to come to the court of the Faerie Queen. Unfor- 
tunately Spenser never finished his great task, but 
the six books of the " Faerie Queen " are the most 
beautiful poetry that had been written in the Eng- 
lish language since Chaucer s " Canterbury Tales." 
Every poet since then has loved Spenser's verses, 
and every child should read them, for they are full 
of tales of wonderful adventures in strange and mar- 
velous lands. 

The first book is about the Knight of the Red 
Cross, who was riding across the plain, clad in 
mighty arms and a silver shield, and wearing a 
blood-red cross upon his breast. Beside him, on an 
ass more white than snow, rode a gentle lady, whose 
veil was drawn across her face, and who drooped 
as if her heart was heavy with some woe. By one 



169 

fair hand she led a milk-white lamb, and the poet 
tells that the lady was as pure and innocent as this 
little creature. She had been born a royal princess, 
but a huge monster had come into her father's king- 
dom and laid waste the land. And now this knight 
was come from afar to avenge her wrong. Together 
they rode through the woods, among cedars " proud 
and tall," " the builder's oak, sole king of the forests 
all," the aspens that are good for staves, and the 
laurel that grows to crown the brows of poets and 
conquerors. A tempest was raging, but beneath the 
trees no harm from wind nor rain could come to the 
knight and his lady. But here in the " Wandering 
Wood " other dangers awaited them. Suddenly 
they found that they had lost their way. Paths led 
here and there, but none went forth from the forest. 
At last they chose the best worn trail, and followed 
it until it came to a hollow cave amid the thickest 
woods. The knight quickly dismounted, but his 
"lady sought to hold him back." 

" Be well aware," she said, " for I know this wood 
better than thou, and the dangers that are hid 
herein. This is the Wandering Wood, and yonder 
is the den of Errour, a monster hated by God and 
man." 

But the knight, full of fire, would not be stayed. 
Forth into the darksome hole he went, his glisten- 



{ 



I/O 

ing armor making a little light by which he saw the 
huge monster Errour, lying in its den. There she 
lay upon the ground, her long tail coiled and 
knotted behind her, each knot pointed with a mortal 
sting. Like a young lion, blade in hand, the 
knight sprang upon her, and she in rage let out a 
frightful roar, and, gathering her strength, leaped 
upon his shining shield. She seemed to bind his 
arms and hands and feet so that he could not move. 
Without, his lady saw his sad plight, but urged him 
on to combat. 

" Now, now. Sir Knight, show what ye be," she 
cried. " Add faith unto your force and be not faint." 

At her words new strength seemed to come to 
him, and with one mighty effort he drew his arm 
forth from the monster's clutches, and strangled her. 

Then rode his lady forth to meet him, and said: — 

" Fair knight, born under a happy star, well 
worthy be you of your armor wherein ye have great 
glory now this day, and proved your strength on a 
strong enemy. This is your first adventure. May 
you have many more, and in each one succeed as 
you have done here." 

There were indeed many more adventures that 
befell this noble knight of the Red Cross before 
they arrived in the fair lady's native land. And 
here the knight met the dire dragon, whose wings 



171 

went round like windmills, and from whose mouth 
issued a cloud of smoke and sulphur. It was a 
terrible combat, lasting three days, but in the end 
the lady won back her kingdom, and the knight 
won the lady s heart and hand. 



SHAKESPEARE 

There were many pretty English villages at the 
time of Queen Elizabeth, and one of them was 
Stratford, not many miles away from Kenilworth 
Gastle, which the queen made famous by her royal 
visit. It was a sleepy village in those days, lying 
on the winding banks of the Avon River, with the 
great oak forests round about it. There were 
crooked little streets of low wooden houses with 
heavy oaken doors shaded by penthouses, and in 
their midst stood an old stone church, whose pretty 
tower was often reflected in the Avon. In the 
spring and summer the village was gay with color. 
Soft green willows hung over the river, buttercups 
and daisies made the banks glisten like gold, red 
poppies blew among the wheatfields, and gardens 
of primroses, pansies,^ and "blue- veined" violets 
nestled at the side of every home. 

In one of these houses there was born, in the 



I 



i;2 

spring of 1564, a little boy who was to make the 
pretty, quiet village famous throughout the wide 
world. He was christened in the quaint old church, 
and the name that was given him was William 



Shakespeare's Birthplace. 

Shakespeare. Unfortunately, we do not know much 
about Shakespeare's life. We can only imagine 
what he did from what we know of the way that 
people lived in those days; and from the many, 
many things which he wrote in his wonderful plays. 
Probably Shakespeare first learned his letters at 
home from a single printed sheet, set in a wooden 
frame and covered with a thin transparent horn, 
from which it got its name of a " horn book." The 



173 

alphabet was printed upon it in large and small 
letters, and below them the Lord's Prayer. When 
he could read, and as soon as he was seven years 
old, the Stratford boy was sent to the Grammar 
School. 

The schoolroom was very plain and bare. There 
were no pictures on the walls, and np flowers in the 
window. The only furniture was the rows of desks 
and hard wooden benches. The only lessons 
Shakespeare probably learned were in Arithmetic, 
Latin, and a little Greek. It was not until years 
afterwards that schoolmasters first thought of teach- 
ing their pupils how to speak and write their own 
tongue. 

It may have been just because his school lessons 
were so dry and uninteresting that the boy, William 
Shakespeare, put himself so eagerly to school in the 
world about him. He stood at the meeting of the 
two highways in the village square, where the great 
coaches that went from one city to another halted 
to water their horses. He listened to the tales of 
the drivers and the travelers, tales of the great sea 
heroes, perhaps Frobisher and Drake ; tales of other 
lands and strange islands lying, far across the sea 
in the New World ; and tales of the queen and the 
great court festivals at London. He roamed about 
the fields and meadows, turning the slender willow 



leaves over to see their white undersides; learning 
the names of the wild moon daisies, the yellow rattle 
grass, and the white milkwort. With his ears always 
open, he listened to many a marvelous charm recited 
by the old women 
I of the village, who 
told him what 
plants were used 
by the witches, 
why the topaz 
stone cured mad- 
ness, and why the 
hyacinth protected 
one from light- 
ning. 

Once or twice a 
year great county 
fairs were held, to 
which the boys of 

Shakespeare at the Age of Twelve. 

those days looked 
forward as eagerly as modern boys do to the circus. 
Here were booths where all kinds of charms were 
sold, love charms and magical fun seed, which if put 
in your shoes made you invisible. We can imagine 
that the boy Shakespeare did not stay at home 
bending over his dull Latin when the fair was go- 
ing on. 



175 

Not far from Stratford there was another town 
which was famous in those days for its religious 
plays. The plays were first given by the Order of 
Grayfriars, but in Shakespeare's time they were 
performed by the great guilds of the town. The 
guilds were the clubs in those days. The weavers 
had their guild, the merchants had theirs, and the 
builders had theirs. These guilds in the country 
performed, on the feast days of the year, plays tell- 
ing the story in simple English of the birth, the life, 
and the death of Christ. They were not given in 
theaters, but on platforms, which were* wheeled out 
into the village square, where great crowds of people 
could see the play. 

Probably Shakespeare as a boy saw these plays. 
It may be that later on he heard of different and 
greater plays given in London, and that the desire 
to see them took him away from his native village. 
He was twenty-one when he came down to London, 
poor and friendless. He found his first work in 
standing outside of the theaters, and holding the 
horses of the gentlemen who came to see the play. 
From then until he died he was connected with the 
theater. He acted some himself, he made little cor- 
rections in the lines of the plays, then he wrote a 
play with a friend, and finally he began on his great 
work of writing plays alone. These plays were so 



An Elizabethan Theater. 

remarkable that Shakespeare performed them sev- 
eral times before the queen, and became known as 
one of the greatest writers of the day. 

Shakespeare did not invent new plots for his 
plays, as writers seek so often to do nowadays. 



178 

He took old stories, stories from Chaucer, from 
the Greek, and from the Latin, and turned them 
into wonderful dramas. He took orreat historical 
figures like Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, and 
made them more real in his dramas than any his- 
torian had done. He read the old English Chron- 
icles, and in a long line of plays has given us the 
great scenes in English history, from the time of 
the weak King John through the fall of Cardinal 
Wolsey. Sometimes he wrote gay . comedies of 
love in the spring-clad forests of Arden, and 
again he wrote the sternest of tragedies, laying 
the scene in some rock-bound castle in the dreary 
North. He could portray any kind of a man or 
woman, king or jester, princess or country lass, 
and make them live before our eyes. 

His plays and his theater brought him in a great 
deal of money. As he grew older, he went back 
again to his quaint Stratford, where he lived with 
his family until he died. He lies buried in the^ 
little church beside the river. 



179 



THE COUSINS FROM SCOTLAND 

When Elizabeth was dying, her courtiers be- 
sought her to tell them who should reign after 
her. The old queen opened her eyes, and gave 
this sharp reply : " Who indeed but our cousin from 
Scotland ! " 

This was a memorable day for England. Ever 
since the early days when Caesar landed on the 
island, there had been fighting between the Britons 
of the South and the Picts of the North. Now the 
two countries were united under the name of Great 
Britain, with James Stuart as their king. 

King James left the people of Edinburgh in 
tears. As he crossed the borderland, the English 
cannon thundered him a loud and hearty welcome. 
All along the route the people hung flags and gar- 
lands of flowers, and great crowds shouted hurrahs 
as he passed by. They little dreamed then that this 
monarch, to whom they were now bowing so low, 
was come to scatter the prosperity which Elizabeth 
had brought to England, and sow the seeds of a ter- 
rible war. 

The English people are a loyal nation, and dur- 
ing the twenty-two years of James the First's reign 
they remained faithful to him, in spite of his dis- 
honest acts and unlawful deeds. They even let his 



son Charles be crowned after him; and as he was 

much more agreeable in his manner than his father 

had been, they believed that he would make a wiser 

and better king. But ' 

I had filled his son's 

with his own ideas. I 

taught him that Gc 

chosen him to be En 

king, and therefore wl 

he did was right and 

Throughout his life ( 

believed this to be 

true. He started 

out to rule exactly 

as he pleased. 

But the English 
Parliament at last 
awoke. " A king," 
they said, " should 
rule not according 

to his own will, but "^'"S Charles I. 

according to the will of the nation." When Charles 
refused to govern in this spirit, they refused to grant 
him money. 

It was customary at this time for the House of 
Commons to vote lo a new king at the' beginning 
of his reign a tax for life on all goods which came 



i8i 

in or went out of the country. To Charles, the 
House of Commons granted this tax for one year 
only. When the year had passed, it was not renewed. 
Then the king asserted what he thought was his 
right, and ordered the merchants to pay him the tax. 
Several who refused were straightway thrown into 
prison. Parliament, enraged, now passed a resolu- 
tion that any man who paid this tax was an enemy 
to the country. Then the king took the last step, 
and dissolved Parliament. For eleven years he 
ruled without one, levying taxes at his own pleasure. 
It was not until Charles saw that a war with Scot- 
land would follow if a new Parliament was not sum- 
moned, that he issued the call. This meant merely 
a renewing of the quarrel between the king and the 
state. One of Parliament's first acts was to draw 
up a lengthy document setting forth the bad conduct 
of the king ever since he came to the throne. But 
even now there were many members of Parliament 
who did not believe in the faithlessness of their king. 
A stormy debate arose over this document, which 
was called " The Great Remonstrance." The session 
lasted far into the night. Finally it was passed. 
Feeling was so strong that swords were drawn. 
Oliver Cromwell, one of the leaders in carrying 
through the Great Remonstrance, said as he passed 
out of the hall at midnight, " If it had not passed, I 



i 



l82 

I 

would have sold all my land and goods to-morrow and 
left England forever." 

The king consented to having the document read. 
Then he turned around, and, accusing the five leaders 
of the movement of high treason, ordered their arrest. 
The House of Commons replied that they would 
consider the matter. Charles was in no mood to 
wait. Urged on by his queen, he' went down to the 
House of Commons with five hundred armed gentle- 
men, and demanded these five men to be handed 
over to him. But the five men whom he sought 
were not there. The king's cheeks were flushed 
with anger. ** Since I see that my birds are flown, 
I do expect from you," he cried, " that you will send 
them to me as soon as they return hither; other- 
wise," he added threateningly, " I must take my own 
course to find them." 

Charles's own course was war. The queen fled to 
Holland to sell the royal jewels to raise money for 
him. - Noblesand the gentlemen of the realm flocked 
to his standard. The West and the North remained 
loyal, but the East and the South, with London, stood 
firm for Parliament. The king's forces wore their 
hair long and dressed in gay colors. They were 
called the Cavaliers. The army, which was back of 
Parliament, wore their hair cut short, the plainest 
of clothes, and queer-shaped hats which won them 



i83 

the name of Roundheads. At their front rode Oliver 
Cromwell. Cromwell was a Puritan, and his idea of 
duty was stern. He filled his ranks with men of 
spirit. He drilled them constantly. His discipline 
was very strict. If a man in his army swore, he was 
fined a shilling. If a man got drunk, he was put in 
the stocks. If he called one of his mates a Round- 

V . " , t  

head, he was dismissed from the army. It was tlife 
leader and these men that, in the end, gave Parlia- 
ment the victory. 1 

The war went on many years with shifting for- 

! 

tunes. The end of it was that the king was sum- 
moned before Parliament to be tried. This trial 
was not lawful. No subject had a right to call his 
king to account for his deeds. No action of the 
House of Commons could become a law unless it 
was passed upon by the House of Lords and the 
king. But Charles had proved himself faithless and 
a tyrant. He had thrown his country into a civil 
war. He was convinced that all that he had done 
was right, and no man on earth could make him 
confess that he was wrong or promise to rule other- 
wise in the future. When he was brought-before 
Parliament, he refused to plead his case. He was 
tried, not as the king, but as plain Charles Stuart. 
The fifth day of the trial, he was condemned to 
death. 



184 

Charles met nothing in Hfe so nobly as he did his 
death. He asked only that he might first see two 
of his children, his little thirteen-year-old daughter 
Elizabeth, and his nine-year-old son. As they came 



Children of Charles 1. 



into the room Charles drew his son to his knee and 
kissed him gently. "Sweetheart," he said, "now 
they will cut off thy father's head ; mark, child, what 
I say: They will cut off my head and perhaps make 



i85 

thee a king ; but mark what I say : You must not 
be king as long as your brothers Charles and James 
do live ; for they will cut off your brothers' heads 
when they can catch them, and cut off thy head too, 
at the last ; and therefore I charge you not to be 
made king by them." 

And the little boy looked earnestly into his father's 
face with great tears in his eyes and cried, " I will 
be torn to pieces first." 

Then the king turned to his little daughter Eliza- 
beth and spoke very gently to her. " Do not grieve 
and mourn for me when I am gone," he said; "for I 
am dying for England's liberty. And you must for- 
give my enemies, even as I hope God will forgive 
them, my daughter." Then he kissed her, and bade 
her say to her mother that his love had never strayed 
from her, but was the same to the verv end. 

So the little prince and princess bade their father 
a sad farewell, scarce understanding the words that 
he had spoken to them. 

A few days later came the morning on which he 
was to die. 

" Bring me a warmer shirt than usual," Charles 
said to his servant, as he was dressing. " For the air 
is sharp and cold and I would not shiver on the way, 
lest my people should think that I was trembling 
with fear." 



1 86 



Then he went quickly and calmly to the scaffold, 
and died like a true gentleman. 



>>©io<.- 



OLIVER CROMWELL 

The king was dead, and through England went 
the proclamation that it was treason to give that 
title again to any man. England was declared a 
commonwealth. There was to be no longer a House 
of Lords; England should be ruled henceforth by 
Parliament. But it did not take long to see where 
the real power that was to govern England lay. 
When Ireland revolted against the Commonwealth, 
it was not Parliament that subdued her. When the 
men of Scotland arose and declared that they had 
no part in the execution of Charles I and were loyal 
to his son Prince Charles, it was not Parliament that 
drove the young prince from the land and forced 
Scotland to yield once more to the English. The 
commanding power, the strong right arm of the 
nation at this time, was in Cromwell's army. Be- 
lieving in the righteousness of his cause, Cromwell 
marched against town after town in Ireland, conquer- 
ing without mercy. Scarcely had he Ireland under 
his hand than the word reached him that Scotland 
was offering Prince Charles the crown. On June 



i87 

24, the young prince landed in Scotland. One 
month later Cromwell crossed the border with his 
army. He marched boldly against Edinburgh, but 
the Scottish forces were too strong for him to dare 



Cromwell belore a Portrail of Charles 1. 

attack them. His outlook was most discouraging. 
He started to retreat ; but the Scotch had seized the 
pass through which led the road down into England. 
On one side stretched the great blue summer sea. 
On the other rose the hills, which were alive with 
Scottish troops. Had the Scots had patience, 
Cromwell could never have defeated them at Dun- 



188 

bar. But they grew weary of waiting, and decided 
to make the attack themselves. On the morning of 
September 3, Cromwell saw them descending the 
hillsides. He waited until they had reached the 
bottom, and then he charged with his whole army 
into the midst of them ; driving them hopelessly back 
against the hillside. " Let God arise, let his enemies 
be scattered! " were the words which arose to the lips 
of the victor as he saw the ruins of the noble Scot- 
tish army at his feet. But the Scots would not call 
themselves beaten. A year later, with their young 
king in the midst of them, they met Cromwell again 
at Worcester. This was the last time that Crom- 
well drew sword for England. His victory was 
complete. The young king took refuge in flight. 
Cromwell's soldiers were on the watch for him 
throughout the land, but Charles finally escaped, 
although those days were full of adventure for him. 
He hid first in a peasant's house, where he cut off his 
hair and put on the coarse homespun clothes of a 
farmer. Hearing that there were spies about, the 
peasant led the king away at night into the forest, 
and hid with him there high in the leafy branches of 
a monstrous oak. Then he made his way farther dis- 
guised as a servant, and rode down to Bristol with a 
Miss Lane on the pillion behind him. Here he 
came near being discovered, but he finally bribed a 



1 89 

fisherman to take him to France, where he waited 
until his people should again summon him back to 
be their king. 

The hero of the hour now in England was Oliver 
Cromwell. He turned from the victories of war to 
the victories of peace. The tasks that confronted 
him now were harder than waging war. The cour- 
age needed to do them was greater than the bravery 
of battle. But when the hour of danger struck, 
Cromwell never faltered. 

England was now a republic. She was to be 
governed henceforth by the people. Cromwell soon 
saw that the Long Parliament did not represent the 
people. He saw that it was not ready to bring about 
needed reforms. It did not have the public good at 
heart. One day, seated in the midst of Parliament, 
the spirit of anger blazed forth, and he cried out in 
a voice that shook the roof : " Come, come ! We 
have had enough of this. I will put an end to this. 
It is not fit that you should sit here any longer." 
And he called in his soldiers and cleared the room. 
That was the end of the Long Parliament. 

Now England was completely in the power of 
Cromwell and his army. But it was not a time of 
rejoicing for the conqueror. He felt only too keenly 
the burden of the task that lay before him. As 
he watched the members of Parliament crowding 



through the doors, his anger turned to sadness. " It 
is you, you," he sighed, " that forced this upon me. I 



Cromwell ends the Long Parliament. 

have sought the Lord night and day. that He would 
rather slay me than put upon me the doing of this 
work." 

With a heavy heart Cromwell looked over the land. 
The king, the lords, and now the commons had 
fallen because they had failed to fulfil! the duties 
that had been made,their trust. He decided to call 
together a body of godly men to govern England. 
Among those whom he selected was one man named 
Praise God Barebones. Afterwards, when it was 



igi 

found how unwisely these good men ruled, they were 
nicknamed Barebones' Parliament. They finally 
were forced to resign because they did not know how 
to govern. Cromwell was chosen Lord Protector of 
the realm, and another Parliament was summoned. 
Later Parliament offered Cromwell the title of king, 
but he refused it ; and yet he saw that his strength 
alone would save England in those days. He 
brought the foreign wars to an end, and kept his own 
army well trained to put down any civil uprising. 
He determined that Parliament should govern by 
high ideals. When he saw them weakening, he dis- 
solved the Parliament. He stood alone, one man, 
before them and spoke unflinchingly. " I can say 
in the presence of God, in comparison with whom 
we are but like poor creeping ants upon the earth, I 
would have been glad to have lived under any wood- 
side, to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than under- 
taken such a government as this." Then he bade 
the members of Parliament go out of the room and 
back to their homes. " The Lord judge between me 
and you," were his farewell w^ords to them. 

This was Cromw^ells last Parliament. That sum- 
mer he lost his favorite daughter. His health had 
been broken by his long hard years of active service, 
and this shock was too great for him. On August 
30 a great storm raged over England. The winds 



i 



192 

howled and the great trees were swept down as reeds. 
For three days life and death battled for Cromwell's 
brave soul. On September 3, the anniversary of 
his great battle at Dunbar, he passed away. His 
dying words were a prayer for the English people 
for whom so many years he had fought and worked. 
" Lord," he prayed, " however thou do dispose t)f tne, 
continue and go on to do good to them. Give them 
consistency of judgment, one heart, and mutual love." 
Even in death he never forgot the duty that had 
fallen to his hand to do. 



-^ojO^o*- 



THE PILOT OF THE STATE 

When Queen Elizabeth died without leaving 
an heir, England summoned one of the Stuarts to 
her throne. Now when the great Protector lay 
dead and England found herself once more with- 
out a ruler, she turned again to the Stuarts, 
calling. Prince Charles to come back across the 
seas and wear the English crown. Two Stuarts 
reigned before the revolution, and the second died 
upon the scaffold. Two Stuarts reigned after the 
war, and the second, James II, was obliged after 
three years to flee for his life from the land which 
called him king. The crown was now offered to 



his daughter Mary, who had married a Dutch 
prince, William of Orange. 

William and Mary ruled jointly for five years, 
and then the queen died. William looked about 



CoronatloD of William and tiary. 

him in despair. " I was the happiest man on earth, 
and now I am the most miserable," he said to one 
of the bishops at the funeral. It seemed to him 
perhaps as if the only person in England who loved 



194 

him had suddenly been taken away. In Ireland, in 
Scotland, and in England the spirit of revolt was 
ripe. " We do not want to be ruled by a Dutch- 
man," was the common cry. Across the Channel 
the French king was doing his utmost to depose 
William. 

But William faced his people calmly and bravely. 
With sure, firm hand he put down one rebellion 
after another. He was just winning the confidence 
of the nation when he was thrown from his horse 
and died. Anne, the sister of Mary, became 
queen. Like Elizabeth, Anne never married. At 
the close of her rule the throne again stood vacant. 
A third time England was obliged to call a Stuart 
to wear her crown. Prince George of Hanover in 
Germany was the great-grandson of James I, " our 
cousin from Scotland." He was a dull, rather stupid 
man, knowing no word of English and caring little 
for the English crown that was now offered him. 
It was almost with reluctance that he left his German 
friends to become England's king. Moreover, after 
he was crowned, he took no pains to learn to speak 
English or to understand the interests of his people. 
When he met his ministers, he was distinctly bored 
by the business that they brought before him. He 
could not preside at these meetings because he 
could talk only through an interpreter. Gradually 



I9S 

it was seen that one of the ministers must step for- 
ward and govern the realm; that there must be 
one minister who was first, or, 
as the Latin word is, prime. 
Ever since the days of George I, 
England has had a prime minis- 
ter, a statesman who .has been 
the pilot of the ship of state. 

Walpole was the first minister 
to hold this important position. 
For twenty-one years he was the Waipoie. 

real ruler, for neither George I, nor his son Geoi^e 
II, ever governed England. Walpole was not a 
great orator, but he had the welfare of the people at 
heart, and he made wise laws 
that helped to make England one 
of the great industrial and com- 
mercial nations. 

The man who succeeded Wal- 
pole was William Pitt, who won 
the name of the Great Commoner. 
His face was noble, and his voice 
William Pitt. musical and powerful. "When 

once I am upon my feet everything that is in my 
mind comes out," he once said. And it came out 
with such a volley of fire and enthusiasm that every 
man in the hall was thrilled and stirred to action. 



196 

Pitt felt the spirit of discontent that still lay buried 
in the hearts of many. He saw war with France 
becoming more and more threatening. He knew 
that the old patriotism was dead or asleep. " Eng- 
land's day has passed," were the words written on 
the faces of many that he passed in the street. "We 
are no longer a nation," were the words that came 
from the mouth of one of the great statesmen. 

The moment that Pitt became prime minister he 
started to rouse the people out of their despond- 
ency. " Be one people ! " he cried. " Forget every- 
thing but the public welfare! I set you an example." 
All through the land rang this cry of courage. All 
eyes were turned to watch this new leader. It was 
said that no man ever went to talk with Pitt but he 
came away feeling braver and more full of hope. 

Pitt knew that it was in the young men that the 
strength of the nation lay. It was he who selected 
Wolfe for the conquest of Canada. Pitt knew the 
spirit that was in this man, who has become one of 
the heroes of history. It was burning courage that 
led Wolfe and his men, dragging their heavy cannon 
behind them, up the steep and narrow path, leading 
to Quebec, under the cover of the night. The dawn 
broke. The battle began. As Wolfe was cheering 
his men, he fell, wounded. As they bore him off to 
the rear, he heard the shout, " They run." 



198 

" Who run ? " he asked eagerly, striving to rise. 

" The French run," came the answer. 

The young man sank back with a smile upon his 
face. " I die content," were his last words. 

Quebec surrendered, and shortly afterwards the 
rest of Canada, which has ever since been one of 
England's finest colonies. 

In another way, Pitt showed how far-seeing and 
wise his vision was. He saw, what the king and 
Parliament could not or would not see, that the 
American colonies had justice on their side when 
they refused to be taxed without representation. 
He knew the spirit that was in these colonists, who 
had left all in England to go out and live in an 
unknown and uncivilized land. He knew the 
spirit that the sons had inherited from their 
fathers. Again and again he raised up his voice 
in their behalf. " You cannot conquer America ! " 
he cried. " If I were an American, I would never 
lay down my arms, never, never, never." But Eng- 
land would not listen to his cry. 

When Pitt died, his son took his place and car- 
ried forward nobly the work which his father had 
begun. By his statesmanship, Ireland became for 
the first time a real part of England ; Irish members 
were to sit in the English Parliament, and the same 
laws were to govern both countries. 



199 

The English saw how wise it was to have a pilot 
of state, a prime minister. Some of her greatest 
patriots have held this position ; some of her great- 
est patriots will hold it in the future. War among 
the nations is giving way to peace among the na- 
tions. The warrior is no longer the hero of the 
country. The statesman is the leader, — the pilot 
of the state. 



;oo* 



SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS 

One of the greatest painters of children who 
ever lived was an Englishman, Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
who was born in Devonshire during the reign of 
George I. Sir Joshuas father was a clergyman, 
but his ten brothers and sisters all loved art, and all 
of them could draw and paint. At first the father 
thought that Joshua's drawings were mere boy's 
play. He wanted his son to be a physician, and, 
when he found that Joshua had neglected his Latin 
exercise to sketch on the back of the sheet of paper, 
he took the drawing and wrote across it, " This 
is drawn by Joshua in school out of pure idleness." 
He thought in this way he would shame the boy, 
but the love of painting was too deep in Joshua's 
heart. When he later gained his father's consent 
to go to London and study drawing, he wrote home, 



200 



"While doing this I am the happiest creature 
alive." 

Joshua was thirteen years old when he painted 
his first portrait. One day when he was in church 
he made a sketch of the preacher on his thumb nail. 
After the service he and another boy, wandering 
along the beach, found apiece of an old sail, and 
Joshua stretched it out and painted a portrait on it 
from the sketch on his thumb nail. It was after this 
that his father sent him to Hudson, a well-known 
London portrait painter. 

The young pupil had so much more talent than 
his master, that Hudson soon grew jealous of him. 
One day he gave Reynolds a portrait, and told him 

to take it to a certain Mr. that evening. A 

hard storm came up that evening, so Reynolds did 
not deliver the picture until the following evening. 
When Hudson heard this, he was so angry that he 
turned Reynolds out of his studio. He had only 
been waiting for an opportunity to get rid of this 
young man, who, he saw, would soon be painting 
portraits much better than his own. Reynolds, like 
all other artists, was very anxious to go to Italy and 
see the beautiful paintings by the old masters ; but 
like many other artists, he was too poor to go. The 
chance came to him quite unexpectedly. At a 
friend's house he met Admiral Keppel, who was 



20I 



then in command of the British squadron in the 
Mediterranean. He invited the young artist to go 
to Italy on his ship. 

For four years Reynolds stayed in Italy. He 
went from one great gallery to another, studying 
and copying the old masters. Always at his side 
stood a poor Italian waif, who carried his palette and 
mixed his colors. One night at the opera, the 
orchestra played a simple little English' song. It 
awoke in Reynolds such a homesickness that he 
told the little Italian boy the next day that he must 
find a new master, for he was going back to Eng- 
land. Giuseppe ^ began to cry and beg that he 
might go too. When Reynolds saw bow the boy 
loved him, he promised to take bim t(^ They set 
out together, but when they reached Lyons Rey- 
nolds found that he had scarcely enough money to 
get home himself. He told Giuseppe he must re- 
turn to Italy, and he went sadly on alone to Paris. 
Eight days later Giuseppe met him there, weary 
and footsore. He had walked all the three hun- 
dred miles rather than leave his friend. This devo- 
tion lasted as long as Giuseppe lived. He worked 
in Reynolds's studio, mixing his colors, preparing 
the canvas, and learning to paint a little himself. 
Some one once said that he was hands and feet, eyes 
and ears for the artist, but Reynolds replied, " He 



is an angel sent from God to help me do my 
work." 

One of the first portraits that Reynolds painted 
after his return from Italy was that of his friend, 



Dinner at Sir Joshua's. 

Commander Keppel. It was so successful that 
people flocked to his studio to be painted. Among 
them came many famous men and women. Dr. 
Samuel Johnson, the writer, became one of his 
dearest friends. Reynolds painted four portraits of 
him, in his rusty brown suit and uncombed wig. 
Gibbon, the historian, came too, to sit for Reynolds, 
— -a very different model from Johnson, in his 
velvet coat, powdered and crimped wig, and gold 



203 

snuffbox in his hand. Then there were Edmund 
Burke the orator, Goldsmith the poet, and Garrick 
the actor, who were all proud to be painted by 
Reynolds. 

There were 
many beautiful 
women, too, who 
sat for this great 
portrait painter. 
One of them was 
the Duchess of 
Hamilton, who was 
so lovely that when 
she entered the 
queen's drawing 
room the courtiers 
stood on chairs and 
tables to get a 

glimpse of her. simpiLcity. 

Reynolds liked to paint children, and many of his 
masterpieces are portraits of the little English boys 
and girls of his day. He had no children of his 
own, but his niece, Offy, lived in his home, and 
Reynolds painted her in the costume of a village 
girl with a basket of strawberries on her arm. 
Fifteen years later he painted Offy's little daughter, 
and called the picture " Simplicity." It was hard 



204 

for little children to sit long enough to have their 
portraits painted, but Reynolds was always very 
kind. Once a beggar child fell asleep while posing 
as a model. The artist did not wake him, but taking 
a fresh canvas, made a sketch of the sleeping boy. 
Before it was finished the child turned in its sleep, 
and Reynolds made another sketch beside the first 
one. Later he put in a forest background, and 
called the picture " Babes in the Woods." 

His famous " Angel Heads " is really five portraits 
of the same lovely-faced, golden-haired little girl. 

Reynolds never stopped painting until he grew 
blind with old age. He was deaf, too, but he was 
as genial and kind as ever. Only once he gave 
way to sorrow. His pet canary escaped, and flew 
out the window. For hours Reynolds groped his 
way up and down the square, trying in vain to find 
his little yellow companion. 

He died in London in the fullness of his honor, 
and was buried in the cathedral of St. Paul, where 
lies also the great Dutch portrait painter, Van 
Dyke. He left behind him some three thousand 
pictures. In the height of his skill he could paint 
and finish a portrait in four hours. When Lord 
Holland discovered how short a time Reynolds had 
worked on his portrait, and how large a sum he 
asked for it, he remarked, — 



20S 

"You get money very quickly. It did not take 
you much time. How long were you about, this 
picture ? " 

" All my life," was Reynolds's answer. 

From his boyhood to his old age he had given 
the best hours of every day of his life to his art 



HORATIO NELSON 

In the heart of London lies a great square, which 
all day long is crowded with people, and across 
which the London buses are continually passing. 
High in its midst stands a tall column of massive 
granite, with four couchant lions at its base. One 



306 

hundred and forty-five feet into the air this column 
rises, and on its top stands the statue of Horatio 
Nelson. The people of all England gave the 
money to raise this 
monument, because 
their love for Nel- 
son was so great 
that they wished 
every man, woman, 
and child who came 
to London to think 
at least for a mo- 
ment of this British 
hero. And those 
who will pause at 
the foot of the statue 
and walk about it 
will see in bronze 
relief four scenes in 

Nelson Monument. Nclsou's life that 

tell why the English people dedicated this great 
square and raised this huge column to his memory. 
When Horatio Nelson was only twelve years old, 
he wrote and asked his uncle if he might not go to sea 
with him. His uncle hesitated a little, for he knew 
that the boy was not very strong; but perhaps he 
had heard Horatio's answer' to his grandmother. 



207 

Horatio when a very small child fan away one day 
with a stable boy hunting birds' nests. His parents 
waited and waited ; they called, but no answer came 
back. At length a search was made, and he was 
found sitting beside a brook which he could not 
cross. " I wonder, my child," said his grandmother 
to him, when they brought him home, " that hunger 
and fear did not drive you home." 

" Fear, grandmama ! " answered the little boy ; " I 
never saw fear, what is it ? " 

Another time Horatio and his playmates dis- 
covered some fine pears growing in the school- 
master's garden. The boys considered the pears 
were their lawful bootv, but none of them dared to 
climb the rather slender tree to pick them. When 
Horatio saw that they all hesitated, he said at once 
that he would get the pears. That night he was 
lowered from his bedroom window in some sheets 
until he could reach the pears, and when he had 
gathered them all, he was drawn slowly up again. 
When he had crawled in the window, he passed the 
pears around among the boys, keeping none for him- 
self. "I don't want any," he said scornfully; "I took 
them only because all you other boys were afraid." 

Perhaps some of the stories of boyhood pranks 
had reached his uncle's ears, for he granted Horatio's 
request and Nelson went to sea. 



2o8 

He was a very lonely, small boy during those first 
few weeks on the ship, and the work was very hard. 
Sometimes the voyage took him into the far North, 
where the ship lay caught among great cakes of 
floating ice. Sometimes he went far South, out to 
the East Indies, where he caught the fever and lay 
for weeks wasting away. " In those days," he after- 
wards wrote, " I was so weak and homesick that I 
begged my companions to toss me overboard. 
Then suddenly a love of England sprang up within 
me. England, my own England ! I longed to do 
something great for her. * I will be a hero, and 
brave every danger,' I cried." 

The four great bronze reliefs on Nelson's monu- 
ment show how he made good his word. 

With this resolve firmly in mind, Nelson grad- 
ually worked his way up until he became rear admiral 
in the British navy, ready to meet any enemy of his 
country. These were days when England had her 
foes and needed brave hearts to keep her courage 
. high. On the western side of Nelson's statue the 
• relief shows how he met and conquered the Spanish 
fleet off St. Vincent. 

Facing the north is a scene from the great battle 
of the Nile. It is a picture on the lower deck amid 
the wounded while the battle is still raging above. 
Into this scene of suffering and death suddenly an- 



209 

other man is brought and laid gently on the deck. 
A surgeon, binding the wounds of a poor midship- 
man, glances up and sees that the pale face is 
that of Admiral Nelson. He drops his bandage to 
rush forward and attend to Nelson. But the almost 
unconscious man raises his hand to stop him. 
" No," he whispers, " I will take my turn with my 
brave fellows." Nor would he let his own wounds 
be touched until every man who had been wounded 
before him had been attended. He thought as he lay 
there, that this was his last battle. But he was to 
live to see this victory and others. This was victory 
over the French. Napoleon, that great French gen- 
eral, was conquering, conquering, conquering every-' 
where he led his army. A vision of all Europe 
lying at his feet stretched ever before his eyes. 
This winter of 1 798 he had gone to Egypt, thinking 
by subduing this land he could go on to India. 
He had gone by land with a great force. The 
French fleet was following, when Nelson met them 
and completely destroyed their forces. 

He was now the great English hero of the day. 
When he sailed into Yarmouth harbor, every ship 
lying there hoisted her colors. In London he was 
feasted by the city, and a great golden sword, studded 
with sparkling diamonds, was presented to him. 
Odes and beautiful presents poured in upon him. 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — 14 



2IO 

If we walk around the monument now to the 
east, we find a rehef of Nelson, seated upon a can- 
non, concluding a peace with the Danes. In that 
awful battle of Copenhagen, he taught the Scandi- 
navians that England was supreme upon the seas. 
But the lesson cost England a terrible price. Hun- 
dreds of precious lives were lost in a day ; her ships 
were badly damaged ; her treasury was drained low 
and her debts were enormous. She needed peace 
with Europe. This peace was broken five years 
later by Napoleon. " The Channel is but a ditch," 
he cried one day ; " any one can cross who has but 
the courage to try." He could not longer keep his 
' eyes off those wonderful English isles that through 
the centuries had defied France. He longed once 
and for all to bring them under the French power. 
Not since the days when the great Armada came 
sailing up the Channel in the form of a gigantic 
half moon, had England been threatened by so 
great a danger. But there was one man whom the 
French dreaded; one man whom the English 
trusted to save them. This man was Horatio 
Nelson. Napoleon's plan was to lead Nelson's 
squadron to the West Indies and engage him in 
battle there, with the hope of cutting him off from re- 
turning. Then he would be ready with his troops on 
the coast of France to sail over and attack England. 



211 



But Nelson was not so easily outwitted. He re- 
crossed the Atlantic in advance of the French ships, 
and met them at Trafalgar. The two great fleets 
drew, up for battle. All was ready, awaiting the 
signal. Nelson stood at his post; all eyes were 
turned upon him. He paused an instant. Through 
the stillness his voice came clear and confident, 
" England expects every man to do his duty." 

The bronze relief on the southern side of the 
monument in Trafalgar Square pictures for us the 
scene of the battle of Trafalgar. Through the aw- 
ful firing of that battle came one ball that struck 
Nelson, and he fell on his face on the deck. It was 
in the heat of action. Which way victory would 
turn no man knew. " Cover my face," murmured 
Nelson, as they bore him below, " so that my men 
need not know that I have fallen." He felt that he 
was dying. " You can do nothing for me," he said 
to the surgeon. In most intense pain, his lips 
parched with fever, he lay waiting, hoping, praying 
that he should not die until Captain Hardy came to 
tell him that England had won the day. Long mo- 
ments passed into an hour and more before Hardy 
came. He took the commander's hand, and, his 
voice trembling with emotion, told him that he had 
won a complete victory. 

" Kiss me. Hardy," said the dying hero. 



212 



Hardy knelt down on the deck, and kissed the 
bloodless cheek. 

" Now I am satisfied," he groaned, turning his 
face away. " Thank God, I have done my duty." 



WELLINGTON, THE IRON DUKE 

In the year 1 769 there were born into the world 
two boys who were destined forty-five years later to 
meet on one of the greatest battlefields of history. 
One of these boys was Napoleon Bonaparte, who 
was to be the greatest general who ever led a French 
army. The other was Arthur Wellesley, who was 
to stand at the head of the forces who were at length 
to defeat Napoleon. The field where this great 
battle was to be fought was Waterloo. 

Both boys were fighters even in their school days; 
both went to militciry schools, and both spent their 
lives in the army. Year by year Napoleon climbed 
the steps of his ambition, until he stood in the great 
cathedral of Notre Dame, crowned Emperor of 
France. But even now his dreams had not all been 
realized. He sat hour after hour with the great 
map of Europe unrolled upon his desk. 

The country of France seemed small indeed for 
an empire, Caesar had started from Rome, and 



had conquered all Gaul. Why should the river 
Rhine divide two countries, France and Germany? 

Why should the 
Pyrenees stand as an 
insurmountable wall 
separating France and 
Spain ? Why should 
the North Sea cut off 
the British Isles from 
the coast of France? 
He would cross the 
river, he would cross 
the mountains, he 
would cross the sea; 
and, with his army at 

his back, he too would Napoleon. 

conquer an empire that was worthy of the name. 
Once more Europe, all Gaul, should be ruled by one 
man. 

This was the dream that burned in Napoleon's 
heart. Men looked into his eyes and saw it there. 
They, too, caught fire. Because he believed that 
he could make this dream real, they too believed. 
They came by hundreds and thousands, . offering 
their lives to help him. Never was there an 
army which marched forward with such enthu- 
siasm. Never was there an army which so adored 



214 

its general. Country after country lay conquered 
at his feet. One country alone stood apart, uncon- 
quered and defiant. One navy still rode proudly 
upon the seas. Those British Isles, lying almost 
within sight of France, hung like a ripe fruit just 
beyond Napoleon's reach. He was never quite 
able to take his eyes from them. Even when 
Nelson scattered his fleet off Trafalgar, he did not 
give up hope. If he could not conquer England 
upon the water, he would conquer her upon the land. 

If Napoleon struck courage in the hearts of the 
men who marched beneath his banners, he struck 
fear in the hearts of those against whom his banners 
were unfurled. Even England quailed. But there 
were gallant men at England's head : Nelson in the 
navy, and Arthur Wellesley, who had been made 
Duke of Wellington, leading the army. 

Like Nelson, Wellington's fighting was done out- 
side of England. He first met the French, not on 
English or French soil, but in Spain. Spain and 
Portugal had both fallen into Napoleon's power, but 
their old spirit of independence was not conquered. 
At the first opportunity they revolted against their 
overlord, and called in England to help them. Wel- 
lington landed in Spain, and with a force of two 
thousand men won three great battles. Napoleon's 
dream was not to come true. Slowly the European 



215 

states struggled to their feet, rallied, and with a 
great united effort forced the French army back, 
back, into Paris, and demanded that Napoleon 
should give up his throne. Disgraced and con- 
quered, the great general was sent to the island of 
Elba in the Mediterranean, and Europe, worn and 
shattered, gathered her strength to build up again 
the boundary lines that should mark out the extent 
of the separate countries. 

In the midst of the quarreling and disputing that 
took place among the different nations, suddenly a 
messaige was brought across the land that bound the 
states of Europe together as closely as if they had 
been yoked with iron chains. " Napoleon has landed 
in Europe." Thi§ was the message. The congress 
of the nations was being held at Vienna. The 
Duke of Wellington was there, representing Eng- 
land. When he heard the message he showed no 
sign of astonishment or of fear. He calmly turned 
to his desk, and began drawing up a line of action. 
The other states soon saw that he was their natural 
leader. It was his plan to start at once for the 
Netherlands, where there were stationed some Brit- 
ish troops, and to place himself at their head. The 
Prussian army, with Bliicher in command, promised 
to stand with him. Napoleon at once saw the dan- 
ger that awaited him. He decided to move forward 



2l6 

rapidly, and, if possible, attack Blucher first and an- 
nihilate his forces before Wellington could send 
him aid. He would then meet the English general. 

On the 15th of June, word was brought to Wel- 
lington in Brussels that the Prussians had been 
attacked. That night a ball had been arranged at 
the house of the Duchess of Richmond. Welling- 
ton called his officers, told them that the French 
were approaching, but bade them attend the ball 
just the same, keeping the news absolutely to them- 
selves. In the midst of the dancing and feasting 
that night, no one was gayer or calmer than Wel- 
lington. One by one he saw his officers slip away, 
and outside in the street he heard the tread of 
marching feet. It was late before he bade the 
duchess good-night. Just before he went he 
turned to the Duke of Richmond, and said in 
a low voice: " Have you a good map of the coun- 
try in your house ? " 

The duke nodded, and the two went up to a 
bedroom and unrolled it. " Bonaparte has gained 
a day's march on me," said Wellington in his calm, 
low voice. " I have arranged to meet him at Quatre 
Bras. If I am not able to stop him there, I will 
meet him here," and he made a mark on the map 
with his thumb nail, at Waterloo. The duke 
passed out of the brilliantly lighted house into 



217 

the dark streets of the city. He was going to 
meet Napoleon for the first and the last time. 
The battlefield was to be at Waterloo. 

It was a desperate struggle, — a terrible battle. 
Wellington never dismounted from his saddle all 
day. The tide of fortune ebbed and flowed. When 
it looked darkest for the English, suddenly the Prus- 
sian troops arrived, weary almost unto death with 
their long march. Their arrival decided the day. 
" All is lost," cried Napoleon, as he fled back through 
the cover of night to Paris. 

The duke entered his tent about ten o'clock. 
Before him was spread his dinner, and he sat down 
and ate it silently. In the midst of the glow of vic- 
tory, his eyes were filled with visions of the brave 
men who had fallen on the field, and his heart 
ached with the sad news that must be sent to many 
English homes on the morrow. 

This day, the i8th of June, 1815, was the crisis 
in the life of both these men, who had been born 
into the world in the same year. Napoleon gave 
himself up a prisoner to the English, and was taken 
to a solitary isle, St. Helena, far out at sea, where 
he spent the rest of his life in miserable solitude 
and idleness. Wellington returned to England, hon- 
ored and esteemed by all, and ready to serve his 
country as nobly in peace as he had done in war. 



i 



2l8 



GEORGE III 



George III was the first of the kings who bore 
his name who was an Englishman. When he met 
Parliament, on coming to the throne, his opening 
words were, " Born and educated in this country, I 
glory in the name of Briton ; and the peculiar hap- 
piness of my life will ever consist in promoting the 
welfare of a people, whose loyalty and warm affec- 
tion to me I consider as the greatest and most per- 
manent security of my throne." When the people 
heard these words, they felt that England once more 
had an English king. 

George III was rather shy and timid in public, 
but he knew how to make a speech, for he had been 
well trained as a boy. The famous London actor 
Quin used to come over to the royal palace, and 
teach Prince George and his brothers and sisters 
how to declaim, and sometimes he permitted them 
to give plays in the palace, before audiences of 
court ladies and lords. When the old actor heard 
how well George III delivered his speech from the 
throne, he cried out delightedly, " Aye, 'twas I that 
taught the boy to speak." 

Not only were the English proud to have a Briton 
on the throne, but they were proud of George as a 
man. He was very kind and good, and seldom has 



219 

a royal family been happier. George III selected a 
German princess, Charlotte of Strelitz, for his bride. 
The royal ambas- 
sador was sent 
over to bring the 
princess to Eng- 
land, and a whole 
squadron of ships 
lay waiting in the 
Channel to accom- 
pany her to her 
new home. The 
bride landed in 
England on a 
Sunday evening. 
Traveling was a 
slow process in 

those days, and King George III. 

the princess took two days to go up to London. 
She spent the night at Lord Abercorn's, where 
she was given a great banquet, and while she ate, 
the doors were left wide open, that all who could 
might catch a glimpse of their new queen. " Her 
Majesty," so an old writer tells us, "was dressed 
entirely in English taste ; she wore a fly cap with 
laced lappets, a stomacher ornamented with dia- 
monds, and a gold brocaded suit of clothes with a 



220 

white ground/* The next morning she set out for 
London. Three royal coaches drove in advance of 
her, and as she neared the city, a body of horse 
grenadiers and life guards closed in about her 
to welcome and escort her to St. James. At 
the entrance to the garden her Majesty alighted 
and fell on her knees before the king. Very gra- 
ciously George III raised her up, and embracing 
her affectionately, led her into the great palace, 
while London thundered its welcome with all the 
guns of the city. They were married in great state 
that same evening in the royal chapel. 

The new queen's first task was to learn English, 
for she knew no word of her husband's tongue when 
she first came to England. Every morning she 
worked hard with an instructor, learning to read, 
write, and spell the new language. Sometimes the 
king came in and laughed with her over her queer 
pronunciation, and helped her in writing her themes. 
When the English lessons were over, the queen 
spent an hour embroidering, then after lunch she 
and the king went out to drive or to walk in the 
gardens until it was time to dress for dinner. By 
and by many little princes and princesses were born 
into this happy home, Alfred, Octavius and many 
others, all of whom received a royal welcome from 
England. They were brought up very simply and 



221 



plainly, much lilcQ ordinary English children. In 
fact, George III was a very sensible and kind-hearted 
father and king. There is a story about him that 
reminds one of the story told about the great Alfred. 
One day the king was out on a hunt near Windsor, 
and became separated from the rest of the party. 
A storm came up, and the king sought shelter in a 
cottage near at hand. He knocked, and asked the 
young girl who came to the door to put his horse 
under the shed. The girl, not recognizing the royal 
guest, replied that she would do so if he in turn would 
mind the goose which was roasting before the fire. 
The king, much amused, consented, and sat down 
to dry his wet clothes and turn the spit. The fire 
was very hot, and the king was red in the face before 
the girl returned. He did not complain, however, 
but chatted pleasantly with her while the shower 
continued, telling her that in wealthy families it 
was no longer necessary to turn a goose by hand, 
because a jack had been invented which turned 
automatically. As soon as it cleared his majesty rode 
off with many thanks for the hospitality shown him. 
That evening the peasant girl discovered five 
guineas wrapped in a paper on the chimney piece. 
She unrolled the paper, and read these words, " To 
buy a jack." 

George III had two great faults. Hewa,§YQry 



222 



narrow-minded and very stubborn. For many years 
England had been involved in European wars, and 
it was necessary to tax the people very heavily in 
order to pay the national debt. Not only was 
England burdened with these taxes, but Parliament 
decided to impose them upon the American colonies 
which were under British rule. The American 
colonies were loyal to their "mother country." 
They were willing to help pay the debt, but they 
said if they were to share these taxes they must be 
allowed to send some members to the English 
Parliament to represent their interests. Parliament 
and the king refused this demand, although the 
great statesman, Pitt, used all his eloquence to show 
the injustice in doing so. Suddenly George III 
found himself involved in a great war, the American 
Revolution, which was to separate foreyer England 
and the American colonies. Out of this war was 
born the United States of America. 

John Quincy Adams was the first United States 
minister sent to England. He was ushered into 
the presence of his Majesty and the Secretary of 
State alone. Adams made three deep bows, as 
was the custom, one at the door, one about halfway, 
and the third directly before the king. He then 
lifted his head, and spoke very calmly, but with great 
dignity. He came, he said, as the representative of 



223 

his people, to bring from the United States a pledge 
of friendship to his Majesty and his Majesty's 
citizens, and to present the best wishes of the 
United States for the health and happiness of the 
royal family. He then added that he should esteem 
himself the happiest of all men if he could bring 
about the old spirit of "good nature and good 
humor" between these two peoples who, though 
separated by an ocean, were bound together by the 
same language, the same religion, and kindred 
blood. 

The king listened very attentively to Adams's 
noble words, and responded with much feeling. " I 
wish you, sir, to believe," he said, " and that it may 
be understood in America, that I have done nothing 
in the late contest but what I thought myself 
indispensably bound to do, by the duty which I 
owed to my people. I will be very frank with you. 
I was the last to conform to the separation ; but the 
separation having been made, and having become 
inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I 
would be the first to meet the friendship of the 
United States as an independent power." 

Adams then retired backward, as was customary, 
from his Majesty's presence, and went his way. 



224 



CHARLES DICKENS 



He was a very queer small boy, who lived in 
Chatham by the sea in a little whitewashed house. 
He was sickly, and so small of his age that when 
the other boys of the village played cricket or mar- 
bles, he always had to stand by and watch. Or else 
he crept off to his own room, and, seated on the bed, 
bent over the " Arabian Nights " or " Robinson 
Crusoe" until the darkness came in through the 
tiny windows and covered over the letters on the 
page. He had learned these letters at his mother's 
knee when he was a very, very small boy, and later 
he had gone to school with his older sister Fanny ; 
but he learned more out of the few books that he 
discovered one day upstairs in his own house, and 
the people in these books were more real to him 
than the children who sat beside him in school. 
By and by he tried to write a book himself, and 
became quite the hero among the boys and girls of 
Chatham by writing a play about the Sultan of 
India.- He could sing funny little songs, and tell 
stories, too, better than the other children ; and often 
when there was company his father stood him on 
the table and had him recite in his shrill little voice. 
Altogether he was a very happy boy in Chatham. 
The fields in spring were bright with hawthorn bios- 



225 

soms. The village square was weekly filled with 
regiments of gayly uniformed soldiers who per- 
formed wonderful drills. The great cathedral and 
castle were as marvelous and beautiful as the palace 
of Aladdin to this little boy. And then there were 
always the ships, white-sailed or black-smoking 
ships, going down the widening river to the sea. 
Dearest of all to the queer little boy, however, was 
a great house near Chatham called Gads Hill Place, 
standing high above the turnpike. It was the great- 
est treat in the world for this little nine-year-old boy 
to be brought out to look at this house, and one 
day his father, seeing how much he liked the great 
house, said to him, " If you were to be very per- 
severing and were to work hard, you might some 
day come to live in it." And the strange part of 
this story is that what his father said came true. 

Soon after this the family moved to London. 
The small boy. was put inside of a big, lumbering 
stage coach and sent down to the city alone. He 
never forgot that lonesome journey : the smell of the 
damp straw in the bottom of the coach, the sand- 
wiches that he ate all by himself, and the heavy rain 
beating against the rattling windows. All the 
beautiful world seemed to be left behind for an ugly 
little tenement in one of the poorest parts of Lon- 
don. There was no more school, although the little 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — 1 5 



boy was more eager than ever to learn. The only 
treasure that came with him from Chatham was 



" The small boy was pul inside of a big, lumbering stage coach." 

the pile of old books. He spent his day blacking 
his father's boots and running errands back and 
forth through the dark and dirty streets, where he 
could scarcely catch a glimpse of the sun or the 
sky. 

Life grew more and more wretched. The money 
became more and more scarce, until there was not 
enough to pay even for bread and meat. One day 
an officer came to the tenement, and carried the 
father away to the debtor's prison. The little boy 
could not understand it; but that night he went 
with swollen eyes to visit his father. There was a 



227 

scant fire burning feebly in the grate, and the father 
sat down beside it with his little son, and they both 
wept. Then he told the boy. to remember this: 
that if a man has twenty pounds a year and spends 
nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings, and sixpence, he 
will be happy, but if he spends twenty pounds and 
one shilling more, he will, be wretched. 

This wretchedness the little boy was soon to 
know. His father had to stay in prison; the pawn- 
broker came and carried away all the furniture and 
all the books ; and the little boy himself was sent to 
a factory, where he worked all day long pasting blue 
labels on boxes of blacking paste. He was so un- 
happy during these two years of his life that he 
could never recall them without tears coming into 
his eyes. Perhaps what hurt him more than the 
hard, monotonous work in the factory and the poor 
pay, was the fact that he could not go to school and 
learn like other boys. Still these days were school 
days. He was not learning from books, but he was 
watching men and women in real life. Probably 
he himself did not know then how carefully he was 
using his eyes. He was filling his mind full of pic- 
tures of queer and interesting people, and the funny 
things that these people said to each other, and the 
amusing things that they did. And the queer little 
bJoy's name, Charles Dickens, was to be known all 



228 

through England, because he made these same 
people live again in his stories and novels. 

Dickens was a 
reporter first for a 
newspaper. Then 
" one day he sent an 
article to a maga- 
zine, and signed it 
" Boz," a nickname 
that he had given 
one of his younger 
brothers. It was 
accepted, and nine 
others followed it. 
Then came the 
famous " Pickwick 
Papers," and after 
that the many 
other stories, " Old 
Curiosity Shop," 
"Oliver Twist," and "David Copperfield," which is 
really a story of Dickens's own life, and tells many 
stories about "the queer small boy." 

Dickens's fame was not only in England, but 
reached also to America. Although the voyage 
was long and rough in. those days, Dickens crossed 
the ocean twice to visit our country. Wherever he 



. 229 

went crowds came to see him. Sometimes the train 
on which he was traveling was obliged to stop ex- 
pressly af some small town where great crowds had 
gathered just to catch a sight of his face. In the 
street cars many a man and woman stepped up to 
him, and begged just to shake hands with him. A 
big dinner was given him in New York, where 
Washington Irving presided and gave the toast 
"To Charles Dickens, the Guest of the Nation." 
It was on this trip, too, that he met Longfellow, who 
afterwards visited Dickens in England. 

As long as he lived, Dickens was a very busy 
man. Novel after . novel came from his pen, and 
each story was read more eagerly than the last. 
Perhaps it was when he was writing " David Copper- 
field" that he remembered the great house of Gads 
Hill Place, and the old boyish longing to own it 
came back to him. In order to buy it he gave 
public readings from his own works all over Eng- 
land and in America. 

The sickly little boy never grew into a strong 
man. Public life was hard for him. In a letter to 
a friend he tells how happy he was to leave London 
and retire to Gads Hill. 

" Birds sing here all day," he writes, " and the 
nightingales all night. The place is lovely. ... I 
have put five mirrors in the Swiss Chalet where I 



write, and they reflect and refract in all kinds of 
ways the leaves that are quivering at the windows. 



Gads Hill Place. 

and the great fields of waving corn, and the sail- 
dotted river. My room is up amongst the branches 
of the trees, and the birds and butterflies fly in and 
out, and the green branches shoot in at the windows, 
and the lights and shadows of the clouds come and 
go with the rest of the company. The scent of the 
flowers, and indeed of everything that is growing for 
miles and miles. Is most delicious." 

He died here in 1870. It was his wish to be 
buried there quietly in the little old graveyard; but 
the nation claimed him for hers, and he was laid to 
rest in Westminster Abbey. For days crowds and 



231 



crowds flocked through the great church to pay 
him homage, and crowds from all nations are still 
going every year to visit his grave among the great 
writers of English literature. 



QUEEN VICTORIA 

» 

There are many kingdoms in the world that will 
never allow a woman to sit upon their throne. But 
England is very proud of the queens who have ruled 
over her. Two queens have had such famous reigns 
that the age in which they lived is named after them 
— the Age of Elizabeth and the Victorian Era. 

Victoria was not born the daughter of a king, like 
Elizabeth, but it was known that she was in direct 
line to the throne. Her mother, the Duchess of 
Kent, took great pains that Victoria should not 
know this fact. She did not want her little daughter 
to be proud because she might some day be queen. 
' Victoria's father died when she was a baby, but her 
mother took every care that the little girl should be 
brought up in such a way as to make her a beautiful 
and wise woman, ready to wear the English crown 
if it should some day come to her. The little prin- 
cess's bed stood close beside her mother's, and be- 
fore she was old enough to sit at the family table at 



232 

dinner, she had her own little table near her mother. 
She wore very simple dresses, and was allowed to 
spend only herweel^ly allowance, which was very 
small indeed. One day Victoria and her governess 
were visiting a toyshop, where the princess found a 
doll that she wanted very much. She took out her 
purse to buy it, but found that she lacked a few 
shillings. Victoria looked up at her governess very 
pleadingly, but the; governess shook her head. 
" You will have to wait until you get your next 
week's allowance," she said. Victoria still held the 
dolly very longingly in her hands. When the shop- 
keeper saw how much she wanted it, he promised 
to save it until the coming Saturday, when Victoria 
would have her allowance. All through the week 
Victoria thought of the pretty dolly lying in its box 
on the top shelf in the shop. Early Saturday morn- 
ing she was up and dressed, and, mounted on her 
little gray donkey, she rode gayly down to the shop 
and brought the new treasure home in her arms. 

Victoria's lessons began when she was very young, 
and she was made to study much harder and longer 
lessons than most little girls. Among Other studies 
was Latin, which the princess didn't enjoy at all. 
Finally it was thought wise to tell her that she was 
the direct heir to the throne. Her English history 
was given her, and she was shown a table of the 



233 

English kings and queens back from/the* time of 
Alfred. Slowly it came to her that if her uncle 
died, she would be queen. Victoria turned a very 
sober face up to her governess. " Now I know," 
she said, " why you urged me so much to learn even 
Latin, which my aunts Augusta and Mary never 
did." Then she came a little closer and put her 
hand in her governess's. " I will be good," she 
said softly. 

From that day she studied and worked hard to 
fit herself to be queen. She spent hours reading 
the history of her own land, and her wise mother 
took her on long trips throughout the country, that 
she might know Scotland and England and the 
people over whom she was some day to rule. 

It was not thought that this day would come so 
quickly. Victoria had just celebrated her eight- 
eenth birthday when the king died, about two 
o'clock one June morning. The Archbishop of 
Canterbury and the Lord Chamberlain at once set 
out to announce the news to the young sovereign. 
They reached Kensington Palace about five o'clock 
in the early dawn. They knocked and thumped at 
the gate a long time before they could arouse the 
sleepy porter. When at last they were let in, they 
announced that they must see her Royal Highness 
at once on important business. The answer was 



brought back, " The princess is in such sweet slum- 
ber that we do not venture to disturb her." 



■' She listened very quielly to the message" 

Then the archbishop replied, " We are come to 
see the Queen on important business of state." 

There was no more delay. Victoria did not wait 
even to dress herself, but came into the room wrapped 
in a shawl, her beautiful, bright hair falling down her 
back, and tears shining in her eyes. She listened 
very quietly to the message, and then said, softly, 
" I beg your Grace to pray for me." Then she 
aslced that she might be left alone for two hours. 



235 

Her first act was to write a letter to her aunt, telling 
her of her sympathy in her sorrow. 

That same day at eleven Victoria held her first 
council. Lord Beaconsfield lias written this descrip- 
tion of the scene : — 

" There are assembled the prelates and captains 
and chief men of her realm. A hum of half-sup- 
pressed conversation fills that brilliant assemblage, 
a sea of plumes and glittering stars, and gorgeous 
dresses. Hush! The portal opens — she comes. 
The silence is as deep as that of a noontide forest. 
Attended for a moment by her royal mother and 
the ladies of the court, who bow and then retire, 

a 

Victoria ascends her throne alone and for the first 
time amid an assembly of men." 

She was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The 
great church was gorgeously decorated with gold 
and crimson. " When the queen entered the abbey, 
with eight ladies all in white floating about her like 
a silvery cloud, she paused as if for breath and 
clasped her hands." As she knelt to have the crown 
placed upon her head, a ray of sunlight fell over her, 
lighting up her face and making the crown dazzle 
with brightness. 

But when the festivities were over, the young 
queen found that long days of hard work stretched 
out before her. Victoria was never a figure queen. 



236 

She worked with her minister as faithfully as any 
king, ever studying the many problems that were 
facing her country. Two years later she married 
her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, who was 
given the title of prince consort. He was a man of 
noble character and great learning, and stood close 
beside the queen, aiding her in many ways. Nine 
children were born to them, and many grand- 
children. Her first grandchild is now the German 
emperor. "Dear little William," Victoria often 
called him. 

Victoria reigned for sixty-four years. No other 
English monarch ^at for so long a time upon the 
throne. Many wonderful events took place during 
these years. The first railroads were built. The 
telegraph was put into use. The first cable was 
laid between England and America, and the queen 
sent a long message of greeting to President 
Buchanan. When Victoria ascended the throne, it 
took four weeks for the news to reach America. 
When she died, the sad words were flashed around 
the world in less than half an hour. 

The prince consort died many years before the 
queen. One of his greatest acts for England was 
the arranging of the first world's fair. This exhi- 
bition was almost entirely the prince's own idea. 
He had built the great glass building outside of 



London, called the Crystal Palace, and invited all the 
countries of Europe to send exhibits of their best 



The Prince Consort opening Ihe international Exposition. 

and most characteristic industries and arts. This 
first world's fair was so successful that many other 
countries since then have adopted the plan of hold- 
ing such expositions. 

After the prince consort died the queen lived very 
simply and quietly. But twice the nation gave her a 
great jubilee ; once when she had reigned for half a 
century, and then, ten years later, when she had been 
queen sixty years. On this occasion gifts poured 



238 

into England from all over Europe and Asia, most 
beautiful and costly gifts for the honored queen. 

Such a long reign had, too, its sad events. There 
were long and cruel wars. No one regretted this 
shedding of blood more than Queen Victoria. No 
one longed more than she that the time should come 
when the nations of the world should be at peace, 
and all difficulties should be settled in courts instead 
of by arms. 

EDWIN LANDSEER 

Edwin Landseer was born a painter of animals. 
When he was a little boy, he was always running away 
from school and his books, but he never, ran away 
from his paint box and palette. His father was a 
painter before him, and was anxious that his boy 
should be an artist. He thought if he was going to 
paint, it was not necessary for him to spend much time 
learning geography and arithmetic, so he used to take 
him out into the fields, lift him over the stile, and 
set him down on the grass to draw sheep. Edwin 
was so young then that his fingers could scarcely 
hold a pencil, but he always sketched on and on 
until it grew dark and his father came to correct his 
work and take the little artist home. 

As he grew older, wherever animals could be 



239 

found, Landseer was there with his pencil and sketch- 
book. He went often to the Exeter Exchange, 
where there was a 
show of wild ani- 
mals; hespenthours 
in the Tower of 
London, where were 
kept at that time 
lions, leopards, and 
bears ; and every 
summer found him 
among the Scottish 
Highlands sketch- 
ing the wild red deer. 
From these haunts 
he hurried back to 

the Art School of g,, ^^.^^ ^.ndscer. 

the Royal Academy, 

where he studied most faithfully. He was so fond 
of painting dogs, and he painted them so well, that 
his master often spoke of him as "my little dog 
boy." He never went to walk without half a dozen 
puppies and dogs about him, and when he painted 
his own portrait, he put in two great dogs looking 
over his shoulder. Once on his way North, in the 
summer, he stopped to see Sir Walter Scott, who 
was also fond of dumb companions, and brought 



240 

away a sketchbook full of drawings of the great 
writer and his dogs. 

Landseer s pictures were very popular. His ani- 
mals looked out of the canvas with such human 
eyes that every one was drawn to them. They 
were very lifelike, too. One of Landseer s friends, 
whenever he came into the artist's studio, which 
was full of pictures of dogs, would cry out: 
" Keep the dogs off me. I want to come in, and 
some of them will bite me. That fellow in the 
corner is growling ferociously." 

In later years Landseer painted some portraits, but 
they were never so good as his pictures of animals. 
He was a great favorite of Queen Victoria and the 
whole royal family. The queen took many lessons 
of him, and all the pets in the royal household were 
painted by his brush. Once the queen asked Land- 
seer to paint a picture of Prince Albert's favorite 
grayhound for a birthday gift. The dog was to be 
painted standing near a table on which lay the 
prince's hat and gloves. While Landseer was 
painting busily, a messenger came in hot haste. 
The prince was hunting for his hat and gloves, 
and the queen was afraid that he might find out 
where they were, and thus guess her secret. An- 
other time Landseer dressed up as a groom, and 
rode out behind the queen that he might make a 



241 

study of an equestrian portrait of the queen. As a 
sign of royal favor he was afterwards knighted by 
Victoria. 

Landseer was so genial and fond of fun that he 
made friends everywhere. One evening at a party 
a young lady happened to say that, however skillful 
any one was, it would be impossible to draw with 
both hands at once. " Oh, I can do that," said the 
artist. " Give me two pencils, and I will show 
you." 

He took a pencil in either hand, and without a 
moment's hesitation, drew at the same time a stag.'s 
head with his right hand, and a horse s head with 
the other. 

Sir Edwin Landseer lived to be over seventy 
years old, and he painted animals all his life, up to 
the day of his death. Oftentimes he liked to paint 
a story of animals, such as Robert Burns's "Twa 
Dogs." In this story two dogs met together on a 
bonny day in June. The one, called Caesar, was a 
dog kept for his master's pleasure. He was not 
one of Scotland's dogs, but came from 

" some place far abroad, 
Where sailors gang to fish for cod." 

He wore a brass collar, and looked like a gentle* 
man. The other was a plowman's colHe, with a 
white breast and a coat of glossy black. These 

LIT. STO. OF ENG. — 1 6 



242 

"twa dogs" met together to talk over life. The 
Newfoundland could not understand how any man 
could be happy unless he had his coach and four, 
and a hundred men at his call, like his own master. 
And yet the collie was sure that his honest master 



The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner. 

was well content in his humble cottage. So they 
passed the afternoon, until the sun was out of 
sight, 

"When up they gat, and shook their lugs. 

Rejoiced they were na men but dogs; 

And each took aff his several way, 

Resolved to meet some ithet day." 



243 

When Landseer died, he was buried with great 
honor in St. Paul's Cathedral at London. On the 
marble slab which marks his grave is a medallion 
portrait of the painter, and beneath it in relief is 
modeled a copy of his own painting " The old 
Shepherd's Chief Mourner." This is one of Land- 
seer's greatest pictures. Inside of a dreary hut 
stands the rude coffin in which lies the shepherd. 
His hat and staff have fallen on the floor, his plaid 
that has sheltered him from the winter's blast lies 
across the coffin, and close beside it watches his 
most faithful friend, his dog, silently mourning for 
his dead master. 



ALFRED LORD TENNYSON 

In the quiet little village of Somersby, which lies 
upon a hillslope, stands a small sandstone church, and 
near it a low white rectory. In the days when 
George III was king of England, a family of twelve 
children lived in this rectory and played games of 
knights and tournaments in the gardens and woods 
about it. The leader in these games was Alfred, for 
he could always make up the most exciting adven- 
tures. He could tell the best stories, too, and he made 
his little brothers' and sisters' blood run cold by 
gathering them about him in the evening and telling 



them stories of gigantic mountains where great drag- 
ons lived who came forth at night to slay beautiful 



Tennyson. 

damsels. But he never told them cruel stories, for 
Alfred's heart was very kind and gentle. He could 
not bear to see any one or anything suffer. It hurt 
him so to see a rabbit caught in a trap that he went 
around the neighborhood springing all the traps that 
the gamekeepers had set. " If we once catch that 
young gentleman, we will chuck him in. the pond," 
the gamekeepers muttered; but they never caught 
him. 



245 

Alfred had one strange pet of his own. One night, 
as he was sitting by the window of his own little 
attic room, a young owl called just outside. He 
answered the call, and the little bird flew in to him. 
He sat very still and called softly. The owl hopped 
nearer and nearer, and at last nestled close to him 
and ate out of his hand. He grew very tame, and 
forsook the other owls for the twelve Tennyson chil- 
dren. Everybody in the house was very fond of him, 
except the monkey that belonged to Alfred's grand- 
mother. He used to be very jealous because the 
owl liked to come and perch on the old lady's 
head. 

When Alfred was seven years old, he was asked, 
" Would you rather go to school or to sea ?'' To the 
boy school meant books, so he quickly chose the 
former. But school in those days in England waS a 
very unhappy place for boys. The lessons were long 
and dry. The masters were very strict, and fond of 
using the rod if the boys made mistakes or did not 
learn their lessons. And the big boys bullied the 
little ones and the new ones. From the very begin- 
ning Alfred hated the little school at Louth where he 
and his brother Charles were sent. Still he had some 
happy times there. It was about this age that he 
began writing the verses that he was always making 
up in his head. Finally he and Charles took their 



246 

verses to a little bookseller in the town. He read 
them through, and offered to buy them for one hun- 
dred dollars. Half of this sum had to be taken out 



Tennyson's Birthplace. 

in books from the store. We do not know what the 
two youthful writers did with the other half, except 
that they hired a carriage one afternoon and drove 
fourteen miles over the low hills and marshy flats 
to Mablethorpe, where they could see the ocean. 
Here on the seashore they "shared their triumph 
with the winds and waves." 

Tennyson finished his schooling at the University 
of Cambridge. Here, too, he found much that was 
dull and uninteresting. But it was here that he met 
Arthur Hallam, another student. Arthur Hallam's 
fine mind and gentle ways charmed the young poet. 



247 

They walked, studied, and read together. On vaca- 
tions Tennyson brought his friend home to the old 
rectory at Somersby. His early death was Tenny- 
son's first and greatest sorrow. Hallam went to Eu- 
rope for his health, and died on the way home. 
Tennyson's grief was so intense that he thought for 
a while that he could never take up his pen again. 
But his very sadness of heart turned him to writing, 
and in a long and beautiful poem called "In Memo- 
riam," he has told the world of the wonderful meaning 
of a true and noble friendship.^ 

This great sorrow made Tennyson's heart very 
tender to others who were sad. None of his verses 
are more beautiful than the lines which he wrote to 
Queen Victoria when the Prince Consort died. He 
was the Poet Laureate then, the great national poet. 
All England was longing to speak some word of 
comfort to their beloved queen. This great flood 
of sympathy was taken up by the poet and put into 
most tender, beautiful words.. Tennyson was just 
ready to publish his poems about King Arthur and 
his Knights of the Table Round. He put them all 
together, and, calling them " Idylls of the King," 
dedicated them to the Prince Consort, who, as he 
writes : — 

^ When the Prince Consort died and Tennyson went to see the queen, 
she said to him, " Next to the Bible, * In Memoriani ' is my comfort." 



248 

" seems to me 
Scarce other than my own ideal knight, 
'who reverenced his conscience as his king.' " 

Then he bids the queen's heart not to break, but 
live on, and closes with the words : — 

" May all love, 
His love unseen, but felt, overshadow thee. 
The love of all thy sons encompass thee, 
The love of all thy daughters cherish thee. 
Till God's love set thee at his side again." 

So these old legends of Lancelot and the fair 
Elaine, and Sir Galahad, the knight in white armor, 
of whom King Arthur said as he dubbed him 
knight, " God make thee good as thou art beautiful," 
were brought out of the dim past of ancient Britain, 
and given to the world in such beautiful poetry that 
they will live forever. 

The last years of Tennyson's life were all spent 
in writing more and more poetry. He had many 
friends, the great statesman, Gladstone, Browning, 
Carlyle, and a host of others, yet he loved to live a 
little apart from the world. When he found that 
his last hour was come, he asked his son to bring 
him his Shakespeare, and he held the treasured 
volume close to his heart until he died. The full 
moon came in through the open windows and fell 
across the beautiful face and hands of the dead poet. 



249 

To his son, standing beside the bed, it seemed like 
the passing of Arthur. 

It was his wish that he be buried simply. So he 
was borne away from the beautiful home on a little 
wagonette which was covered with moss and bright 
with scarlet cardinal flowers. Around him was 
wrapped the pall which the working men and 
women of the North had woven and the cottagers 
of Keswick had embroidered. And over all were 
banked the wreaths and crosses of flowers that came 
from all parts of Great Britain. The old coachman, 
who had been for thirty years Lord Tennyson's 
faithful servant, led the horse across the moor just 
at sunset. In the rear followed quietly the villagers 
and school children. The queen wished her great 
man to lie in Westminster Abbey in the Poets' 
Corner, so he was brought thither, and placed beside 
Robert Browning and close to the monument 
erected to the first English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer. 



;<Hi- 



EDWARD VII 



On the afternoon of January 23, 1901, the Mall, the 
great street in London, was thronged with people. 
It was a quiet crowd, for there was sadness in every 
heart, and yet here and there a smile broke over the 



250 

faces of the bystanders, as a gayly clad officer hurried 
down the street and entered the Palace of St. James. 
At about five minutes to two the heavy gates of Marl- 
borough House 
swungopen. There 
was the sound of 
horses' hoofs on the 
hard road, and the 
crowd pressed 
eagerly forward. 
In advance rode 
the King's Guard 
in full dress, and 
following them the 
escort. For a mo- 
ment the sun broke 
through the low, 
gray clouds, light- 
ing up their shining 
King Edward vii. heloiets and flash- 

ing on their drawn 
swords. But the people heeded them little. Their 
eyes were fixed on the coach just behind, and the 
grave face of the man who was looking out through 
the windows at them with kindly eyes. A great cheer 
went up as the coach rolled out into the highway, 
a cheer of sympathy and of loyalty from the people 



251 

for their new king. The coiach drove at a trot 
down the Mall to St. James Palace, and then, as the 
clock struck two, the king first met his Council. 

He stood before them, a man of sixty, and spoke 
to them briefly, but with great sincerity and dignity. 
He told them that it was his first duty to announce 
to them the death of his beloved mother, the queen, 
in which loss he believed he had not only their sym- 
pathy, but that of the entire world. Then he told 
them that he should endeavor to follow in her foot- 
steps, and, as long as there was breath in his body, 
to work for the good of his people. 

His name was Albert Edward, but he now an- 
nounced that he would be known by the name 
which six of his ancestors had borne. The name of 
Albert, which he had inherited from his father^ 
should remain sacred to his memory. He wanted 
England to remember only one Albert, " Albert the 
Good." He then took the oath of king as Edward 
VH, and under this title he was crowned ^ with 
great pomp and ceremony in Westminster Abbey. 

Edward VH had been born direct heir to the Eng- 
lish throne, and all his life he had been trained to be a 
king. He had studied much from books, but he had 
learned more from traveling and visiting all parts of 
the world. His wise father sent him first, as a small 
boy, through England and Scotland. Then followed 



254 

Alexandra was once passing along the streets of 
Copenhagen with the Czar of Russia and her brother, 
Crown Prince of Denmark. A peasant happened to 
pass by driving a load of hay, and the Crown Prince 
called out jokingly, " Give us a ride." 

The peasant, little guessing who they were, drew 
up his oxen and told them to climb on. It happened 
that the route ran by the Palace, so as they were pass- 
ing, the Czar told the peasant to drive into the court- 
yard. But the peasant shook his head, " That's the 
King's Palace, and no one is allowed in there but 
royalty." 

" Never mind," thundered the Czar, " you do as I 
say. Don't you see I am the Czar of Russia ! " 

"And I am the Crown Prince of Denmark," added 
the other. " And this lady is Her Royal Highness, 
the Princess of Wales." 

The peasant looked at them a moment carefully 
through his little squinting eyes, then he drawled 
but, " And I am the Emperor of China," and drove 
on by the gate. 

While in London the Prince and Princess of Wales 
lived in state at the great Marlborough House, but 
they liked to call Sandringham Hall, a beautiful 
country seat in Norfolk, their real home. 

There were many gardeners and gamekeepers 
needed on the estate, and King Edward was very 



255 

generous to them. He built pretty cottage homes 
for them; schools for their children; a clubhouse 
where they could meet when not at work ; and a 



Sandrtngham Hall. 

hospital to care for them when they were sick. The 
hospital was the special care of Queen Alexandra, and 
was visited by her every day when she was at Sand- 
ringham. Over the door she placed this motto: — 



Ask God for all you want. 
Thank Him for all you have, 
And never grumble. 



ZS6 

On one part of the grounds, hidden among the 
trees, is a tiny dairy. Just as the French queen, 
Marie Antoi- 
nette, liked toshp 
away from the 
great palace at 
Versailles and 
play dairy maid, 
Queen Alexandra 
and her court 
ladies liked to 
wander through 
the trees to the 
little dairy and 
make themselves 
a cup of tea. 

King Edward 
VII did not have 
a long reign. 

&gG.ors.V. 3^f^_.^ ^^ ^^j 

celebrated his tenth anniversary he died leaving his 
throne to his sailor son George. The new king was 
crowned in June, igi i, George V of England. His 
wife, formerly Princess Mary of Teck is now Eng- 
land's queen, and already there are six little princes 
and princesses about whom some day perhaps we 
shall have to write more Little Stories of England. 



i 



To avoid fine, this bode should be returned on 
or before the date last stamped below 



BOM — ff-40 




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